Update/Recap on SKY Happenings & What they mean!

December has been a really great time for looking UP! With the Great Conjunction AND Comet Erasmus happening simultaneously… spiritually minded people begin thinking “this has got to MEAN something!” And, I submit to you… it does!

This will be a brief update mostly about Erasmus. I have a LOT more to say on the topic of The Great Conjunction and what it means for Christians in 2020/21, but I don’t have all that info ready quite yet! Be watching for another blog soon. For now let’s fix our focus on Comet Erasmus.

First of all, this comet was discovered in November and was predicted to complete its strangely shaped orbit within our solar system in mid-December and then be gone from our view by the 21st. It was supposed to be: Comet Erasmus, THEN the Great Conjunction with Erasmus out of the picture, then Christmas. That is not, however, what happened! I’m so excited to tell you/show you what DID happen!

First I want to remind everyone that Comet Erasmus symbolizes authentic intercessory PRAYER. Within the interpretations of the prophetic dreams and visions God has given me, Comet Erasmus came to represent, specifically, true and fervent prayer over America— prayer that will ultimately accomplish the victory the USA needs in this hour to stay free. Knowing that, let me tell you that even though the comet was supposed to be gone from view well before Christmas, it in fact did not leave our solar system. And… I have a picture of what Comet Erasmus looked like ON CHRISTMAS DAY! Are you ready for this?

Red, white & blue!

All other satellite images of Comet Erasmus either showed it as a small white blob with a short tail, or, more frequently, a blue glow in the sky. But ON Christmas, while representing the fervent prayers we’re praying over our country, it looked like this! Its beauty was breathtaking to me. And its message is deeply encouraging. ❤️🇺🇸

Also important to note: Erasmus did not bow out of the scene on the night of the Great Conjunction (some called it the Christmas star or Bethlehem star) on December 21. While not visible to the naked eye that night, it was still there, in the constellation Sagittarius, and photographable by satellites. When Saturn and Jupiter conjoined, that represented Father God and King Jesus coming together. It gives me great comfort and encouragement to know that “our prayers”…our fervent intercessions, were right up there too! It feels like all these are working together to bring about something GOOD. 😊

P.S. Comet Erasmus is now predicted to leave our solar system some time in the first week of January. I really appreciate Erasmus hanging around for this long! Thanks, Elmo! 🤗

More on the Flying Elmos, Who They Might Be, & Where We Are in Time

Please forgive how long and multi-layered this is. God has been speaking so much lately that it’s truly like drinking from a fire hose. It’s difficult to process and sort it all in a way that is clear to readers. I originally wrote this to a person who was helping me sort through it all. We must keep pressing on to understand what God is so enthusiastically saying at this time! Be blessed as you read.

            On November 3rd was the Election.  For the following two days I was in shock and some kind of weird grief-fog.  On the third day, I went kayaking. I knew I had to get out in nature, to let the outdoors soothe my soul and mind, and to listen for what God would say.

            Early that morning, before I went kayaking, the Lord had spoken a date to me and told me to look it up in one of my old journals. The date He mentioned was May 3rd, 2019. My Quiet Time was cut short that morning, so I made a mental note to look it up later.

            In the afternoon, I got my chance to go to the lake and kayak. Once I got out on the open water, my soul and mind began to feel more at peace. I was all alone with the sights and sounds of nature, and my spirit could sense the Lord.  I came around a bend in the lake, and I gasped with delight at a sight that was new to me— dozens and dozens of very large white birds (I later learned they were American White Pelicans), one-third of them lined up with precision along the entire length of a log in the water, and the rest swimming nearby. Two of them responded to my presence by taking flight and circling above my head, showing off their dramatic wingspans. As the bright sunlight passed through their wings, I couldn’t help but notice that American Pelicans’ wings look almost identical to those of a stork. (This becomes important later! I’ve been fascinated by stork wings for years because of a certain passage in the Bible—will explain later I promise!) I kept my kayak very quiet in the water and slowly moved closer to the pelicans on the log. I wanted a better look at them, and I wanted to see how close they’d let me get. I was having good success until a couple of jet skiers came along. The loud sound of their engines caused all the pelicans to take flight! These are LARGE birds with massive wingspans, so taking flight is not a quick process for them. It was poetically slow and dramatic and deliberate and magnificent. It was downright cinematic. It was also… mathematic. They lifted themselves up from the surface of the water, all flying at a slight angle away from me, but then with great precision they began to bank to the left and adjust their position to each other, thus forming two lines. As they gained altitude and reached the sky, I was amazed to see them form a perfect giant ‘V’, and in that formation they flew directly over me.

            I was astounded at the beauty and rarity of this moment. I also knew that God had set this up for me. I’d gone to the lake to pray and sort out all my sad, mad, bewildered feelings about the Election. And to ask God, “what is going to happen here with this Presidential race?” But just to have the Lord send me a moment of such exquisite beauty was in itself a blessing, and in that moment I only took it for the encouragement gift that it was. I didn’t realize that God was actually saying more through that moment until later, after I’d gotten home from the lake.

            That evening, I had some extra time to journal, and was excitedly writing about my kayaking adventures. It was then that the Holy Spirit reminded me, “Hey, look up that date.” So I found my 2019 journal and began to read from the May 3rd entry. It turns out that I’d woken up from a prophetic dream that morning, and had written it there in my journal.

In my dream I was able to somehow see, a very well-done televised shot from a drone camera that was filming from the exterior of the White House. The camera was focused on the President’s bedroom window. It was very early in the morning, and the blinds were closed. Then the window blinds opened…in my dream it was actually a shade that went up, and there was Donald Trump in his PJ’s! (His pj’s were NICE… preppy, gray ones and the President was looking fresh and well rested.) He looked out the window and realized that “We the People” had been able to tune in and see his ‘first moment’ of this early morning, so he smiled and threw his arms straight up in the most epic ‘V’ for Victory pose! I woke up immediately after this dream, and knew that the interpretation was: a stunning New Day for America!

            Remember that when I’d been out on the lake, I was praying and asking God what would be the end result of this election. Then the whole flock of American Pelicans formed a giant V right in front of me. Then I came home and was prompted to find that dream. This all happened on Friday, November 6th.

            On Sunday, November 8th, I was driving to church, my teenage daughter with me, and we got stopped at the last traffic light before the interstate. Mine was the first car stopped and waiting. A large semi-truck came off the interstate and turned in front of us. The cab of this truck was gleamingly new and was a color that I’d never seen used for a truck cab before! It was such a bright, sunny yellow that it really grabbed my attention. And there, printed across the side of the cab, was a certain word… a word I’ll keep secret for now (as of this writing) because it is not yet time to release it… but I will say that it’s a word that I have prayed from my heart 4.9 billion times for 13 years. It is a tender and private prayer request that has come to represent the deepest parts of my walk with God. Over the years, whenever my faith would waver regarding this request, or my hope would sag, I’d pray and ask the Lord to show me that word, just as I went about my day, for him to let me see it somewhere, to boost my faith. (And so many times, He did that for me!) Now, here it was, plastered across a huge sunshine yellow semi truck, driving right in front of my car. And that COLOR! That color and I have a history together. Do you remember the 2008/2009 financial crisis and recession? That was a rough time for me, and also most of America. So rough, that on January 1, 2009, that bright citron yellow was named the Official Color of the New Year. News anchors and Talk-show hosts announced it and called it the color of HOPE.

            Hope was the first thought in my brain when I saw that truck, and of course my heart soared even higher when I saw that my special secret prayer request was written on the side. Then the Lord said, “Pay attention to the numbers,” and I saw in my mind the very intersection where this was happening—like a map view of it. The interstate the truck was exiting from was I-65. The Lord showed me the 65 like this: “6+5.  That’s eleven!”  The road the truck was turning onto was Highway 76. The Lord showed me that number like this: “ ’76 as in 1776.  7+6=13, think 13 Colonies.” (This felt large in my spirit, like it had National overtones.)  “7+6=13, think 13 years.” (This felt private and personal.)  As I drove the rest of the way to church, I had a lot to ponder!

            First, about the numbers. God reminded me that eleven means shift. It felt like He was saying a very large, very bright SHIFT has turned and is rolling right up through the 13 original Colonies, and all that they represent, all that they embodied in 1776.  Then, that COLOR. I’d already realized that it was the color of Hope, but something else kept tapping at my brain. When I got to church and could use my phone, I did what we all do when something is tapping at our brain—I googled it. I hit “images” and BAM, there it was, the exact thing God wanted me to find! It was a perfect square color-swatch of that bright yellow, and it was stamped with the color’s name that an interior paint manufacturer had chosen for it: St. Elmo’s Fire.  Enter… the second prophetic dream in this story! This is a dream the Lord sent to my daughter Sarah in 2017. We knew that it was a significant prophetic dream, and had been asking God for the interpretation for it all this time!  I won’t tell the whole dream here, for it has two parts, and the second part is for my daughter to tell. But please notice that the car in her dream is the same color as the truck God brought into my real-world experience!

It was a beautiful sunny day, and Sarah was riding in the backseat of a car, her Dad driving, and a certain man we know from church in the front passenger seat. The car was a classic Camaro and its color was yellow. They had the windows down as they rode because it was such a lovely day, and everywhere they went, certain men would greet them and say “I was in the Flying Elmos too!” And then they’d say what year or years they’d been in the group. There was a vibe of joy and comradery. Then Sarah realized that there was an emblem painted on the side of the Camaro— it was Elmo (yes the Sesame Street Elmo!) but this Elmo had eagles’ wings. 

So. Let’s re-cap. 

I was grieved over the Election and was crying out to God about who would ultimately win. I was given, as a response to my prayers, a giant V in the sky (made out of American Pelicans!) and also the image of President Trump giving the V-for-Victory to the American people. Then I was shown a truck, which was the color of Hope, and it had my deepest most personal prayer request on it. Then I was shown that the truck’s color was also called St. Elmo’s Fire, which brought in the connection of Sarah’s dream and all that we subsequently learned about St. Erasmus… also known as St. Elmo.

            St. Erasmus lived in Italy in the 3rd Century. He was an early Christian Bishop and was ultimately martyred. He is known as one of the “Fourteen Helpers,” a group of intense intercessors during that time. He was brutally tortured many times, but never recanted his faith in Jesus Christ. He was a powerful preacher and evangelist, and even had “signs and wonders” follow his preaching sometimes. There are stories of lightning striking the ground near him as he preached! And people were amazed because he just kept right on preaching. There was another incident where he was about to be seized by officials bent on arresting him, and a lightning bolt came suddenly and knocked his oppressors backward away from him, allowing him to escape. These stories about Erasmus… “St. Elmo”…became legendary and caused sailors to name a natural phenomenon after him.  St. Elmo’s Fire is blue plasma lightning that occurs on parts of ships at sea during certain weather/geomagnetic conditions.

            As I was researching and learning all this information about St. Elmo, November 11th arrived. I woke up at 4:43 a.m. from a vision I was having! The Lord was showing me that day’s date in a peculiar way. The word November was normal, but that eleven… each numeral ‘one’ had been turned into the trunk of a tree, and from that, branches were growing. At the tips of each branch, there were blossoms. As I saw this, I heard Him say, “The olive trees are flowering.” I instantly thought of Zechariah chapter 4, and then the Lord said, “Go ahead and go to your well-worn path.”  I love that He called Zechariah my “well-worn path” because it shows that He gets me! He knows.  During the long wait for the secret prayer request and EVERY OTHER REQUEST, HOPE, DESIRE of my heart that I’ve been praying for, for so very long without seeing it come to fruition, I would so often be pulled like a magnet to the book of Zechariah—especially chapters 4 and 5. At first, I didn’t understand any of it. There’s a lot of mystery in there! But the Bible is so cool, if you just keep coming back, keep reading the stuff you don’t understand, and whisper prayers for understanding, after a while, God—seeing your tenacity—will begin to peel the layers and reveal exactly what His word means.

            When I first started reading Zechariah as a novice, I could not have been more intrigued about the Golden Lampstand, the two olive trees, the capstone, the “separated stone” that had seven eyes on it (that mystery actually gets introduced in chapter 3!), the flying scroll, the woman in a basket, the two women with the wind in their wings—but I didn’t understand any of it! After nearly 14 years of reading, praying and studying, I now understand some of it. I’ve learned the meaning of: The Golden Lampstand, the capstone, and the two olive trees. And on the morning of November 11th, (11\11!)  here those trees appeared in a vision God was giving me! A vision embedded into the very date! I couldn’t grab my Bible fast enough. I started digging afresh into my well-worn path. And keep in mind, my thoughts and prayers had not moved one millimeter off of The Flying Elmos, St. Erasmus, St. Elmo’s Fire, and the bright yellow truckload of Hope. Whatever I was about to read in my Bible was going to pass through the filter of my trying to understand all of that.

            I looked carefully again at the two olive trees. There they were, right there in verses 3, 11 and 12, still providing oil to keep that Lampstand burning. (Raise your hand if you’ve been following Jesus long enough to know that you are an olive on that tree, and olives have to be pressed, squeezed, and crushed to make the oil that fuels the Lamp!) As part of my vision that morning, I had heard the Lord also say, “The flowering of the olive trees shows the induction of the final surge of oil supplied.”  I will not let you forget that He said this. It took me several days to extract all the meaning from it, and we will circle back around to this later!

But for now, it’s back to the Flying Elmos. That dream caused us to dig into who St. Elmo was, what his life entailed, and what legacy he left for future Christ-followers. First and foremost, Erasmus was an intercessor. The deep intercessory prayers offered by God’s true remnant of believers (like Erasmus, like us!) is what is pictured in Zechariah 4, as olive trees provide perpetual oil. Erasmus was also tortured horrifically, but remained faithful. As I pondered this, the Lord spoke powerfully to me and said that once satan saw that physical torture wasn’t an effective way to get Christians to recant, he “switched tactics”, and now will use prolonged DELAY to try and get us to give up. Here’s a quote from my journal where the Lord was explaining this:

“In Heaven, long delay is EQUATED with physical torture. Like, it weighs the SAME, as far as ‘COST’, as far as GLORY added to the life of a Believer.”

Stop.

And think about that.

            Okay, moving on. One thing I’ve noticed about reading Zechariah 4… it always leads to reading Zechariah 5. It’s all just too intriguing!  As I dug into these chapters the day of my 11/11 vision, I began receiving fresh understanding about chapter 5, AND, for the first time ever, I saw with great clarity the connection between chapters 4 and 5! It was a true “lightbulb moment” for me, and I promise I will explain the connection, but first we have to see some specifics inside chapter 5. The symbols in Zechariah’s continuing vision here are: The flying scroll, the woman in the basket, and the two women with the wind in their wings. I gotta tell ya… It has been bugging me for YEARS—Who Are These Women?? The scroll is not hard to figure out, the Bible tells us what that is. It’s the stating of the  curse, going out over the whole land. The woman in the basket is also explained right within the chapter. The basket is the measure of iniquity, and the woman is wickedness.  But those two winged women! Their identity is not explained, and if you search commentaries, you’ll find no shortage of conflicting opinions regarding them. What we DO know is that they had wings (with wind in them) that were “like the wings of a stork.” WAIT ONE SECOND. Did we just say *stork*? Because I happen to know from a very recent personal experience that the wings of a stork look nearly identical to the wings of the American White Pelican!  Everything that had happened to me within my walk with God during this difficult month of November was starting to seem connected. I was starting to think that those two women are placed in Zechariah 5 to provide a prophetic picture… a foreshadowing… of the Flying Elmos. And the wind in their wings could be a foreshadowing of the Holy Spirit arriving in Acts chapter 2!  

            Now let’s talk about my epiphany on how the two chapters are connected. Chapter 4 shows intercessory prayer happening, born out of difficulties and “crushings” that turn olives into olive oil, and then that oil is fuel for the Kingdom of Jesus. Early Christians like St. Elmo made oil that helped fuel the Kingdom. True believers from every era since the Cross and Resurrection and Pentecost have contributed oil of the same nature. WE are right now still doing that. But listen to a detail God mentioned on the day of my 11/11 vision: “The flowering of the olive trees shows the induction of the *final surge* of oil supplied.” We’re getting into timing here. We’re getting into specific fulfillments, prophesied right here in Zechariah, that point to what’s actually going on in our culture, in our day. Here’s a quote from my journal where I am processing all that the Lord was showing me:

Lord, I’m realizing that the oil (pressed from the olives from the two olive trees) is actually the Spirit-infused PRAYERS of the intercessors down through the centuries of your Kingdom… the “King/Priests” formed when Jesus died to make us a holy nation for You, God. Our prayers… Erasmus’ and the 14 Helpers, Apostle Paul and all the praying heroes of the early Church, and even US… “The Flying Elmos”—our prayers ARE the oil that has kept that Golden Lampstand burning! IT HAS BEEN OUR PRAYERS AND OUR STEADFAST FAITH! And it is all those centuries of pressed-olive prayer that eventually culminate in the events of Chapter 5 being able to happen! Like… prayer, prayer, prayer, prayer (for two millenia!) and then finally… a flying scroll! We prayed the Kingdom to the point in time where the curse over iniquity can be announced, where Wickedness finally reached its full measure, and some JUSTICE is on its way.

     I always wondered why the two women were taking the basket far away to build a house for it. Why build a house for that woman, Iniquity? But then it hit me. Look at what’s written on the scroll… the curse. The Lord says that He will send it out, and it will enter THE HOUSE of the thief and the liar. Wickedness has got to have a house before God can rain his judgment down on it and destroy it! And while we’re focused on the details of the curse, let’s back up one verse and see this description: “According to what it says on one side, every *thief* will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who *swears falsely* will be banished.” And it goes on to say that the curse will then cause their complete destruction.  The day I was on the lake with a sad and bewildered heart, and every day since then as I watch what’s going on in our country… the reason for all this stress and uncertainty is thievery (a STOLEN election) and  lying/swearing falsely (the mainstream media driving the narrative).  According to God’s Word, that’s all about to be destroyed!

            Let me end this by quoting something the Lord said to me on November 14th.  I’d had an unusual start to my day. I awoke from a sensation of having seen blue lightning flash, and then before I could even get my early morning coffee made, the sky over our neighborhood turned the most electric red I’ve ever seen, and Jesus drew my attention to it out our windows. Then a massive wave of weeping washed over me, and I knew it was Him weeping through me. It wasn’t the sad kind of weeping, it was the kind that comes with great RELIEF and Joy. Here is what He said:

You saw in your spirit just before waking, blue plasma lightning. You saw “St. Elmo’s Fire!” Now I’ve also shown you this dramatic fiery red sky at dawn. What strikes this Land *is* straight fire released because you prayed– you and other intercessors who authentically leaned in long enough to truly listen to My heart, and pray the truth. Because you’ve done this, the bowls that gathered your prayers became full, and have tipped. They release the lightning of St. Elmo’s Fire. It has been gathering in bowls since the time of Erasmus! As the bowls tip and release their contents, I add My power to them. The earth has NEVER seen anything like what is about to sweep across. Mankind will never be the same.  Do you understand that this is real? The time has come, and that is why I turned the sky to FIRE at the sunrise this morning and that is why I was weeping through you before you could even drink your first cup of coffee.

You may be asking, “What does that mean?…’the time has come’.”  I don’t know exactly. But I do know that we see a characteristic of God on display ALL throughout Scripture: He never does a thing that’s significant for mankind without announcing it ahead of time.

Spiritual Significance of all the Cool Sky-happenings!

Seems like everyone is talking about the “Christmas Star”— the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that’s happening in our December sky this year! Two weeks ago the Lord brought this planetary conjunction to my attention, before I’d seen anyone else posting about it, and He told me to look into it. He had some things He wanted to reveal.

My interest in sky-happenings was already extremely heightened because of *amazing* spiritual things that have gone on this Fall, well before we all started finding out about Jupiter and Saturn. That conjunction seemed to be the bow on top of a beautiful present God is giving, and I’ve been trying for two weeks now to figure out how to get it all sorted out and written down!

In March of 2017 my daughter Sarah had a prophetic dream. We knew it was from the Lord, and that it was important, but we did not get an interpretation for it! When this happens, we’ve learned to kinda just put the dream on a shelf, readily accessible if at any point in the future the Lord begins to reveal what it means. I won’t tell the whole dream here… that’s for Sarah to do when she is ready. But I will describe the first part of it.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and Sarah was riding in the backseat of a car, her Dad driving, and a certain man we know from church in the front passenger seat. The car was a classic Camaro and its color was yellow. They had the windows down as they rode because it was such a lovely day, and everywhere they went, certain men would greet them and say “I was in the Flying Elmos too!” And then they’d say what year or years they’d been in the group. There was a vibe of joy and comradery. Then Sarah realized that there was an emblem painted on the side of the Camaro— it was Elmo (yes the Sesame Street Elmo!) but this Elmo had eagles’ wings.

As we prayed for interpretation of this dream, we felt led to do some research on the word Elmo. (Around that same time God had been teaching us some cool things about “St. Elmo’s Fire.”) So we began to learn about who St. Elmo was. He was a believer in Jesus during the 3rd Century. His real name was Erasmus. He is referred to in writings from that time as St. Erasmus and then later as St. Elmo. We learned that he was an authentic Christ follower who had been persecuted and tortured horribly several different times, but never recanted his faith. He was also one of a group called “The Fourteen Helpers,” a group of mighty intercessors during those days of the early church. We came to the conclusion that the Elmo part of the dream represented true intercession, remaining faithful to Jesus through extreme difficulty, and even having supernatural POWER accompany your service to Christ (that’s where the St Elmo’s Fire part comes in, but full explanation will have to wait. Don’t want this article to be TOO terribly long!) It was fun to learn all about St. Elmo, but for three and a half years the full interpretation of the dream did not come.

Then, I was driving to church on a Sunday morning (11/8/2020), and the most amazing thing happened. I got stopped at a traffic light near the interstate, and this big semi truck exited the interstate and had to turn right in front of my car! It was one of those moments where you wonder for a second if the truck is gonna clear your car! 😬 The cab of this very large truck was so brand new it was sparkly, and it was a color of bright yellow that I’d never seen used for a truck! It was really attention-grabbing! I remember thinking that it reminded me of the “Official Color of 2009” that the news media had chosen for that year (our nation was reeling from a Recession & housing market crash), and they’d called it the Color of HOPE. And then. OH MY WORD and THEN, as it passed within inches of my windshield, I saw a word printed in bold black letters across the door of that truck— a word I’ve never seen used on a truck before. The word was my most private, closely guarded, innermost secret prayer request that I’ve been praying for 14 years. I saw that word printed there and it took my breath away. This word had come to symbolize the thing I’ve agonized in prayer, in secret, deep within my heart SO ARDENTLY for so very long. And there it was, on parade in front of my eyeballs, in the bright morning sun. And the color of the truck cab was just as bright. I gasped and prayed “Lord! What does this mean?” He said to look up the color. After I got to church, I did just that. (Google images is an amazing tool!) As I tried to match the color, the first suggestion that popped up was actually a paint swatch put out by a paint company, and it was labeled “St. Elmo’s Fire.” Well, that got my attention! I realized that this real-life incident with the big yellow truck had been sent by God to be a companion to the Flying Elmos dream. And it felt like the truck was symbolizing a great big load of happiness and HOPE.

After church I shared all this with Sarah, and we began to stir up all the things we’d learned about St. Elmo, and to ask again if God would help us interpret the Flying Elmos Dream. And this time, He did! Over the course of the next several days, we began to have stunning revelation after stunning revelation about Erasmus, about authentically following Jesus in the face of persecution or great delay, about St. Erasmus and his Fourteen Helpers, and about why “St. Elmo’s fire” (the weather phenomenon) is named after Erasmus. And right in the midst of all this, I happened to learn that a new comet had been discovered in our skies, in late November, and the name they gave the comet is…. ERASMUS! Sarah and I got super excited about that! Here’s a pic of us texting about it on 11/24.

So now we’ve got a dream from 2017 that’s been brought back to life and is being interpreted, which is all about Erasmus, AND someone just discovered a comet in our universe and named it Erasmus. God had our full attention!

Then right on the heels of that discovery, along came the first article about Saturn and Jupiter conjoining. Since my spirit-eyes and ears were already turned all the way on, I instantly knew some things. Saturn is a planet named after Kronos, or “Father Time.” I see it as a symbol of Father God. Jupiter is called the “King Planet.” I view that as Jesus, our King. They’ve been gradually moving toward each other in the sky since July 28th. During these weeks of December, leading up to Christmas, they will conjoin more closely together than they have since the 1200’s, and will seem to become one “star.” All of this WHILE there is a comet named Erasmus near them in the sky.

As I set out to learn more about Saturn and Jupiter, I found that they each have a letter of the Greek alphabet as their symbol. I saw in an article a sketch of each planet’s symbol. Then suddenly I remembered a dream I had LAST December… 12/15/19 to be exact. THIS IS MIND-BLOWING.

I dreamed that I was standing just to the side of a full length mirror, and the hand of God came into the scene holding a small piece of paper. Some design or marking was sketched on the paper, but I didn’t recognize what it was. The Hand laid the paper on the floor and slid it up to the very edge of the mirror. Now the sketch had its “other side”….the other half was in the mirror and it made the design look more like something I was familiar with. Also, one tiny bit of the half in the reflection was missing. I heard the Lord say, “Think mirror,” and then a beautiful teaching just unfolded into my mind. This’ll be hard to put into words, but it was like the shape that the Lord had sketched was symbolic of a blueprint… a blueprint for what he wanted to build or make, and that was Heaven’s side. Then the side that was reflected in the mirror is Earth’s side. He was showing me that whatever He plans to do on His side of the veil, HAS to match and get completed on our side… here in the earthly realm. The tone of this teaching had a quality of inevitability to it. (Think Isaiah 55: 10 & 11.) SO, here’s the thing: (drumroll please….) The image I saw, with half on the floor and the other half reflected in the mirror, is exactly what the two Greek symbols for Saturn and Jupiter look like if you conjoin them! Remember I dreamed this dream on December 15 LAST YEAR, 2019.

Now, think back to a small detail from within the dream. The sketch the Lord had drawn was a certain shape, and the other half of it appeared in the reflection of the mirror… except…the half in the mirror had a tiny part missing! When I asked the Lord about that, He showed me MORE interpretation for the Flying Elmos Dream. For three years Sarah and I had been stumped on the significance of the man in the front seat riding along in the Camaro. Now the Lord was showing me that the meaning of that man’s name is, “What’s left,” “what remains to be done.”

SO. Let’s review. We’ve got Father God and Jesus coming together in the sky, in a John 17 kind of intimacy vibe— and some say it’s the same astrological event as the Bethlehem Star, a comet named Erasmus hanging out nearby, AND the crescent moon will be arcing through this whole scene next week. The moon represents King David and the Davidic lineage of royalty. (Psalm 89:37) To David was given the prophecy that he would never fail to have a “son” as King on the throne of God’s Kingdom, and it was a prophecy about JESUS who came 1,000 years later! Lastly I’ll mention that we have a dramatic dream from one year ago where God was showing that there was still a small portion of His plan that remained unfulfilled. But it WILL inevitably be fulfilled.

What does this all mean? Like, for us, right now in December of 2020? I do not know for sure… yet! But I believe that God is about to further elaborate! Especially if we will lean in and listen! And I KNOW FOR SURE it means that we should be doing two things right now: 1.) Act and live like Erasmus, and 2.) Be watching the sky!

Prophetic Happenings at Church

Dear Gateway,

God is speaking so much to our church and about our church and THROUGH our church right now that I’m having a hard time condensing it down into a written form. But if you consider yourself affiliated with Gateway Christian Center, you will want to know these awesome things! There’s so much good coming at us, it’s like trying to take a sip from a fire hydrant, and it’s challenging to organize the information. But I’m gonna try! Let me begin by talking about how special Sunday, Dec. 8th was.

For THREE YEARS we have been praying for the prophetic, and the tangible moving of Holy Spirit, to be activated among our people. Yesterday (Sunday) we experienced it! Here’s how things unfolded: First of all, we got there and there was a bird in the sanctuary. Initially I viewed the bird as an annoyance… it was fluttering around above people’s heads and making a distraction. But I happened to speak with Steve Lowe, and he told me he’d been trying to get the bird out since the day before, because it had set off the building’s security alarm, and he’d had to drive down to the church Saturday afternoon to see about it. He said that he tried several things to get the bird out, to no avail. At one point, the bird flew over to the big brown cross in the corner of our sanctuary and landed on the very top. He took a picture! Then he waved his arms very enthusiastically to try and shoo the bird outside, but the bird instead took off and flew straight UP.

SO.

When he told me that detail, my mind was suddenly flooded with recalling a beautiful dream I’d had a few weeks earlier.

👆🏻There’s the dream as I posted it on Facebook.

So we ended up having church on Sunday with the bird still in the sanctuary. At the beginning of our service, people just started sharing prophetic words, or dreams, or answers to prayer. This free-flowing sharing is a sign of Holy Spirit moving in our midst and we love it! Nadine came forward and shared a deeply encouraging thing the Lord had said to her. As she shared, we realized that the content of her word matched very closely with a prophetic dream Pastor Mike had had the night before. These “coincidences” are actually God weaving threads among us as a church and they hold great significance. After Mike, Nadine and Sarah had shared, I came up to explain something that the Lord had laid on my heart earlier that morning. He had spoken an Assignment for Gateway! He took two (partial) Scriptures and wove them together and instructed our church to PRAY these two sentences, OUT LOUD, every day until January 1, 2020.

His instructions about this were very clear and I knew that I should share it with everyone. He wants as many Gateway people as possible praying this certain, simple prayer every day. Will you please join us?

Okay, one more cool “coincidence.” This morning (Monday), as I was reflecting back on how sparkly-awesome church was yesterday, and remembering to pray our special prayer, I felt the Lord nudge me to check my phone and I saw a notification from YouTube inviting me to watch this message. (This is just a 2-minute screen recording I made. I can share the link for the whole message for anyone who wants it.)

This is about Jesus saying “It is finished” while he was on the cross, and it’s about praying God’s word out loud.

NOT a coincidence at all. God is speaking to our church.

Love to all,

Sally

The 12 Year Foundation of Gold and The Lightning Rod!

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Note of explanation: This article was originally written as a prophetic update just to the people of our church, but has been modified to be more ‘user-friendly’ for the general public.  Our church is called Gateway Christian Center, my husband Mike is the Pastor, and our worship leader is our daughter, Sarah. Throughout the Winter and early Spring months of 2019, the Lord began to speak to people among our congregation about the concept of “The Threshing Floor” and instructed us as a church to take our prayer requests to the threshing floor. We’ve enjoyed digging into the Bible to learn all about threshing floors, what they mean and what happens there! 

At our National Day of Prayer Event on May 2, 2019 we had 3 stations. One for Personal Threshing Floor, one for GateWay’s Threshing Floor, and one for praying over our Country.

As soon as I arrived to the parking lot that day, clouds gathered and I heard thunder rumbling. I got my big American Flag out of my car because I was going to use it to help decorate the “USA Station.” I carried it across the parking lot, and as SOON as I got into the building with it, a HEAVY rain suddenly began to fall. This rain (rainfall is SO LOUD at Gateway!) triggered a memory. And as soon as I started remembering, God started talking! I remembered that there was another service, years ago, that I had called and hosted (because God had told me to) and it had rained so loudly that time as well. So I started wondering, “When WAS that?” Then Holy Spirit just started bringing it all back to my mind and also talking to me at the same time.

It was the first week of May, many years ago. God had been speaking to me about Revival, and the last Sunday of April I’d actually brought the message at Gateway and it was entitled “Let it Rain.” Then God had instructed me to call Gateway to a Solemn Assembly… something I’d learned about in the ‘90s while studying past Revivals in American history. God instructed me to host the event for my church, and to tell the people that they must arrive into the building in complete silence, and REMAIN in complete silence until God released someone to speak. In private prayer at home one day before the event, God showed me that the Silence at our Solemn Assembly would last exactly 40 minutes, but that I was not to tell that to ANYONE, not even my husband.

So… miraculously… WE DID IT! A lot of people came. It was an evening event that started at 7:00. The people came into the sanctuary in silence, filled up the chairs, and we just sat there, waiting on God to move. Most were just privately praying or meditating. After a while, I heard the Lord say to me, “Look at your watch.” I did, and it was 7:39. Then a few seconds later, at 7:40 on the dot, Mike opened his Bible and began to read a scripture passage. SIMULTANEOUSLY, it began to rain. It rained harder and harder and Mike ended up having to shout to be heard over that rain on our metal roof! After Mike finished reading, people began to share. They got up and gave praise testimonies. It rained harder and they would have to shout. Then people began to get up and confess sin and shortcomings in their lives, and again the rain pounded so hard that we needed to shout to be heard. It was COOL!

So, fast forward to this past Thursday. These memories were flooding my mind, and I excitedly told Sarah that somehow we’d ended up having our National Day of Prayer event on the exact anniversary of the Solemn Assembly event, and I told her it was in 2006. Numbers are important to me, so in my mind I did the math and said, “It was 13 years ago, almost to the DAY.”

(This was incorrect but I don’t want to get ahead of myself here…. it’s part of the story of how God moved on Thursday!)

I chose to go pray at the USA station first. I got on my knees and began to just pray for America. Almost immediately I heard the Lord tell me to ask for Gateway to be a “hot-pocket”… a “hotspot of activity for the Fire and Glory that are coming as We launch Great Awakening and it sweeps nationwide.” It was like God was feeding me the words to pray. “Let Gateway be a hotspot of brilliance and Light and glory and miracles.” And when the word ‘miracles’ came… I saw Jesus laughing with his head thrown back in the most authentic and JOYFUL, victorious-feeling laughter!

THEN, I saw a vision: I saw an hour glass with only a very few grains of sand left in the top half. I thought, “Oh no! Time is running out??” But then I saw a hand come into the picture, and as soon as the final grain of sand dropped, the hand gently turned the hour glass over. Then the scene zoomed out a bit, and I could see that the now-FULL top part contained sand that was Red, White and Blue!

Then the scene changed and I was shown a map-image of the United States, and a wave of GOLD swept over it, turning our whole country gold!

I was so excited about what I’d just seen that I immediately shared it with Sarah. Then she told me that during that same time, SHE had just had a vision while praying at the Gateway Threshing Floor! Here it is in her own words:

“Over America—  I saw the Lord tilt up the chin of His Daughter America, home of the Free and the Brave. He said so tenderly to her as He lifted her face to His, ‘America, America, God shed His Grace on thee!’  Then He kissed her and His LIFE BREATH went deep into her being! She is coming back to LIFE! America the Beautiful! Land of the FREE, home of the BRAVE.” 

Later, when I had moved on and was praying at one of the other stations, God nudged me and said “Hey, it wasn’t 2006.” I knew he was talking about my incorrect assessment of when our Solemn Assembly had occurred. He said, “It was 2007, remember?” And I DID! He had instructed me that year to do THREE assemblies, one month apart, leading up to the Nashville ‘Call’ event in July of 2007, and then take a group from Gateway to The Call. Spring and Summer of 2007 had been an AMAZING time for our church! 🙌🏻

So after God reminded me that it was ‘07, my brain said, “Oh okay so it’s been TWELVE years.” And then God said “Look up the spiritual meaning of the number 12.” So I did!

The number twelve represents FOUNDATIONS… the laying of a foundation.  Then God showed me something SO AWESOME that it gave me chills. The 12 years in between the 2007 Solemn Assembly and our prayer service last week was, how do I put this…. ROUGH for our family (and many families within our church). I’m talking fiery trial after FIERY TRIAL! But that FIRE was purifying our foundation and turning it to Gold! For TWELVE YEARS God has been making sure that our foundation at Gateway is pure, golden, forged in faith, and STRONG! 

While I was still praying at the “Gateway Threshing Floor” station, the Lord said some other exciting things.  I will type it out here like the conversation that it was. 

God: “When I determine to do a thing, WHO can stop it? Implied answer: NO ONE.” 

Me: “What have you determined to do here, Lord? Make MY heart-desires match YOURS, O God! Don’t let me cloud this with any selfish or misguided goals/hopes/dreams!” 

God: “Gateway is a Lightning Rod!  An anointing will come here… a FRESH-feeling anointing. Salvations, baptisms and healings will flow out of it.”        AMEN!

Late that same evening I received a text from a prophetically gifted person who: 1.) RARELY texts me, and 2.)  Had NOT come to our church’s event and knew nothing of the details about how our National Day of Prayer had gone, but he texted: “God has  been telling me to tell you that today is a day of remembrance.”

The next morning I awoke from one of the strongest prophetic dreams I’ve ever had. I won’t take the space to type it all out here, but it was about our current President and the interpretation was that a New Day is dawning on America! 🙌🏻 

Then on Sunday morning, May 5th, the Lord woke me while it was still dark and just told me to look at the clock. I looked and it said 4:44. I said “What does 4:44 mean Lord?” And immediately I saw a vision! I saw the whole earth… our planet just floating in space (like a normal satellite photo would show), and a hand came and reached over behind the sphere  🌏 to take a piece of ribbon and bring it forward. Then another section of ribbon was gathered from the left side of our planet, then a piece from the right, then the fourth piece from the bottom, and the ribbon was tied into a bow upon the world.  

I got the strong sense that God was “wrapping things up.” (The kids these days… when something is nearly finished, will say “Put a bow on it!” That was what it seemed like God was showing me!) 

In conclusion, [for NOW!… because these cool prophetic things KEEP happening!] I just wanted to gather into one place here in our fifth month of 2019, all the things God is pointing to and saying to us as a people. Something HUGE (and wonderful!) is approaching, and I am so blown away that our humble little church gets to be a part of it! Let’s be READY!

 

 

Truth is a Person

Last night we wrapped up a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, full of laughter, sweet family-time, fellowship, good food, games, etc. It was just plain GOOD. Then I got ready for bed around 10:00 p.m. and as soon as I laid my head on my pillow, I literally felt my mind trying to turn to some dark places. (It was like my brain had a mind of its own! Weird, I know!) It felt like a train, loaded up with Negativity, Fear, and Doubt, left a station nearby and came railroading into my thoughts, unsolicited!

First there was fear. Y’all I am not a fearful person and rarely struggle with that issue. But suddenly I was worrying about everything all at once. How my kids are turning out, my teen daughters’ safety and well-being, my grand babies, my marriage being attacked, our finances, the health of our church… no area of my life was untouched by this dark, creeping fear. Because I’ve been a Christian since I was 9 years old, and I’ve been in church all those years and paid attention (!), I knew what to do. I recognized where this crap was coming from, and I began to pray. I said the name of Jesus out loud, and I began to quote a lot of Bible verses that I’ve committed to memory over the years for occasions JUST such as this one! Guess what? It didn’t work this time.

Having faced this particular “not working” thing before, I knew what to do next: WORSHIP HIM. (By ‘Him’ I do mean the One and Only, the Lamb slain before the founding of this world, our Jesus.) Now my favorite way to worship Him is to sing to Him. It’s what I’ve always done, since early childhood. So lying there in the darkness of my bedroom I tried to softly sing my worship to my God. But it wouldn’t come out of my throat. And that’s when this dark nasty force took it PERSONAL. I heard a foul whisper, “If he hadn’t taken your voice away you could win this thing.”

🎯

There it was. Bullseye. Arrow straight to the heart. My heart hurts already every single day over the fact that I lost my voice seven years ago and never got it back. My heart grieves over the fact that I can no longer sing. Lying there in my bed last night, tired and wanting to be asleep, I’d temporarily forgotten that I can’t sing anymore. For a SPLIT SECOND, I felt my spirit, my heart, my core self trying to slide down into the location this foul demonic spirit had chosen to take me… despondency and bitterness, anger at God, spewing at Him “Yeah, God I WOULD worship You if You hadn’t made it freeking IMPOSSIBLE!” It felt good to my hurting flesh to be angry.

But. Somehow (praise God) I knew this was a trick. It was an invitation to somewhere that looks/feels good at first, but turns ugly once you’re there. I knew not to go.

I’d already tried prayer, quoting Bible verses, saying the name of Jesus… I now caught myself wondering what other tools I might have in my tool belt. (Mike had just preached the day before on our spiritual armor, from Ephesians 6, so I was mentally scanning through whatever options I may have left.)

And that’s when Jesus showed up. Like, inside my mind, where I could see him, His manifested Presence came walking into my thoughts. (That’s the best way I can explain it.) Y’all, the look on His FACE. It was so… human. And recognizable. Like, “Hey there I’ve seen this nasty thing you’re up against tonight while you’re just in your bed minding your own business trying to go to sleep. Want some help?”

[This is the kind of Savior we have!😭]

So this is how it went down after that: He asked me, “If all of those things that you were fearing actually happened, and every other worse-case-scenario you could imagine also happened to you, where would you be?” I said, “With You.” And suddenly ALLLL this PEACE flooded my mind/heart/soul. Then He invited me somewhere. He said, “Come float on a cloud with me.” Now this is funny right here… like an inside joke between me and Jesus, because he knows I hate it when people think that Heaven is just formerly-alive humans floating on clouds. So I saw this delightful twinkle in His eyes when He invited me to do that. In my mind, my imagination if that’s what you want to call it, I pictured Jesus and me lying down and relaxing, adrift on a white puffy cloud. Nothing was said… we were just TOGETHER. The next thing I knew, it was 6:00 this morning and I was waking up from a refreshing sleep. Still feeling close to Jesus.

**WHO WON THAT, Satan??** hahaha

I know that God wants me to write this episode down and share it with others, because we all have a nasty enemy who is real, and can try things against us. The devil hates us because we bear the image of God, and he really never tires of trying to trip us up. It’s important that we know how to fight him and take our stand against him.

One final note: the thing I was doing right before Jesus Himself showed up and basically shut the enemy’s assault down, was that I was scanning (frantically, I’ll admit!) through the list of weapons/armor in Ephesians 6. I realize now that what “worked” in this case was Truth. The very first piece of armor Paul lists is the Belt of Truth. The fact that he calls it a belt shows that it protects your gut, your CORE. Remember how I said that the enemy took it to a place that was PERSONAL? When he brought up my voice condition, it felt like a gut-punch to my soul. But last night, I didn’t have to “find Ephesians 6 in my Bible” or intellectually remember the verse about the Belt of Truth. My frantic mental scanning got interrupted because TRUTH walked in. Truth is a person, and His name is Jesus. He helped me so much last night! ❤️

The (World’s Longest) Blog That I Didn’t Want to Write

Do you know that for the past six and a half years I’ve been living life with no voice? I don’t mean metaphorically, like you hear about on the News, where a certain people-group feel that they “don’t have a voice.” I mean like I literally lost my voice in April of 2011 and never got it back.  I speak in whispers. And that is a VERY frustrating and agonizing way to live.  People can’t hear me.

I have no idea how to start this particular Blog post. A gigantic part of me doesn’t want to write it. But God keeps nudging me to write it… and somehow, deep in a smaller part of me, I know that I need to. Mostly it’s about something tragic that happened to my daughter, but it’s also about my voice, and God and Jesus and the biblical gift of prophecy.  Maybe if I can process what has happened, then I can find an appropriate place to put the pain/confusion/disappointment. It’s scary to begin, though. I really don’t know what I’m going to end up saying. But, in faith that something good can come out of it… here goes.

December of 2017 was rough.

Heck, ALL of 2017 was rough.  But December decided to out-do all the other months, and let the year go out with a double gut-punch.  I was recovering from the serious E. Coli infection that had had me in the hospital for a day, and then home for TWO WEEKS with a PICC line in my arm, receiving daily I.V. antibiotics to basically save my life. So that was fun. But when it was finally over, I began to re-group and set my personal plan of attack for the upcoming Christmas season. When you have six kids, three sons in law, and three very-adored grandbabies… shopping for gifts is serious business, and you must have a strategy! This holiday shopping would make a nice fresh focus for me.   And just as I was making my initial plans, I received some happy news. A new grandbaby was on its way! And the due date was my birthday! OH how this news warmed my heart! And, let me explain… it warmed my heart extra, EXTRA much because of “what had happened.”

My birthday is the sixth of August.  Last year, on August 6th 2017, my daughter Leah had suffered a miscarriage at my house, during my birthday party. It was a very sad day. I hurt so badly for my daughter, and cried a LOT that day. Our whole family did. It was just plain SAD. When I received the news in early December that Leah was pregnant again… I was overjoyed. When she told me that the due date was Aug. 6th… I latched on to what felt like a very natural, God-inspired thought inside my own head: “Poetic justice! A sweet reward! Since we suffered such a loss ON my birthday last summer, God is making it so that we receive this awaited precious baby right on the same day, one year later.” It seemed right to me! I loved it. “How very kind and awesome of God to do this for us,” I thought, “after the particular sadness of the August 6th miscarriage.”

Why call it a “particular sadness”? Do I call it that just because it happened on my birthday? No, there was more to it than that. You see, this was not Leah’s first miscarriage. Let me explain.

The year 2017 started off with us grieving.

We’d been extra happy all during the Christmas holidays(2016) because Ben and Leah had announced a pregnancy in early December. Our family LOVES babies, and we get really excited when someone is expecting! In the week between Christmas and New Year, though, I received a text from my lovely daughter asking for prayer because she’d started having symptoms of a threatened miscarriage. This was new to me, to our whole family. No one in our family had ever had a miscarriage before, or even the threat of one. Naturally, we took it to the Lord in prayer. We prayed hard, and we prayed “right.” By that I mean that we dug in the Scriptures and found verses that matched our need. We prayed specifically, and we prayed with faith. We reached out to multiple friends and family members who are known for being mighty prayer warriors, and got them praying too.

Nevertheless, a few days later, Leah lost the baby. Oh how we cried! Oh how it hurt my mama-heart to see my 23 yr. old child grief-stricken. It really hit her hard. But, after several days, she got up, took her stance as a faith-filled child of God, went back to worshipping Jesus (even though it was thru tears) and never missed a Sunday fulfilling her role as a worship leader at their church. I was amazed at her faith and courage.

Leah’s doctor had suggested they wait several months before trying again to conceive, so that’s what they did. But one very hot July day, I received an invitation to come over to Leah’s house for coffee. I kinda’ knew something was up… call it mother’s intuition! With a joyful sparkle in her eyes, Leah told me that she’d had a positive pregnancy test, and that she and Ben were so excited! Immediately, though, I heard caution creep into her voice as she told me that they were going to keep it confidential for a while, because of “what happened last time.” I winced at the memory of the pain from 7 months before. I remembered how she’d chosen faith and strength in the Lord, and carried on like a trooper. I said, “Leah, God’s not going to let you lose two babies.” I meant that from the depths of my being. I literally could not fathom that happening. I set about rejoicing over my new, forthcoming grandchild!

Do you know what that’s like? For a big ole’ loving family that LOVES babies? You immediately begin daydreaming… will it be a boy or a girl? Will he/she look like older siblings? What names will be put on the list of possibilities? How soon can we start buying teeny-tiny clothes, socks, onesies, to celebrate? What kind of fun shower can we plan? These were my joyful thoughts. UNTIL.   The unthinkable phone call, “Mom please pray, I’m spotting again.” My gut wrenched. My spirit automatically wanted to turn to prayer… but there was this shadow there, that hadn’t been there before… a dark whisper saying “you prayed last time, and it didn’t work.” I rejected that thought and began praying anyway. It’s what we DO! We are Christians! We are a Pastor’s family! Leah and Ben are Worship Pastors at their church! We live by faith. We exalt Jesus in all that we do, and proclaim God as a good, GOOD Father. We stand on His Word. We walk in victory, reciting verses about being “more than conquerors.” That’s how we live.

Ben and Leah contacted their core prayer team at their church, and we did the same. We stirred our faith up and went on about our week… keeping schedules and looking forward to my birthday party on a Sunday afternoon. Scripture-based prayers asking for this new life in Leah’s womb to be protected and healthy were never far from our lips. Nevertheless, as I’ve already mentioned, that baby was also lost. The timing and circumstances of this miscarriage were absolutely heartbreaking. I was growing tired of seeing my daughter in so much pain… physical, emotional and spiritual pain. Those un-answerable “WHY” questions wouldn’t stop pounding through our brains. People say things like, “Well, this little life just wasn’t meant to be.” Okay then WHY would God allow the conception to take place at all? If this person wasn’t meant to exist… fine…, don’t let them form in the womb! Every single conception of a human being is an absolute miracle! Why were these tiny humans being conceived, only to be lost through miscarriage? These are the questions that make your heart and your head ache to the point of anguish.

But we took our anguish to God, and even though no good answers ever came, we eventually dried up our tears, said “God is good… even when bewildering loss occurs,” and we went on with our lives. Leah’s doctor this time said that, like last time, they needed to wait several months before trying again, but that if/when a conception occurred in the future,  she should come in for weekly blood tests to monitor her pregnancy hormone levels. The theory was that, if low levels were what was causing the miscarriages, there were medical interventions that could help fix that problem. Eager and excited to add to their family, Ben and Leah followed the doctor’s advice and waited the appropriate amount of time. After a four month wait, they were happily letting us know that a positive pregnancy test had happened again! We all felt cautious, but were reassured by the fact that Leah’s doctor’s office was going to be immediately and consistently monitoring the situation. Looking back now, I wish that somehow we could have been shown what was actually happening: we were all climbing aboard a gut-wrenching rollercoaster.

The first appointment brought good news! Her HCg levels were normal, and it seemed to be a thriving healthy pregnancy. Yay! We all breathed a very joyful sigh of relief! Prayer teams were notified of this happy praise report.  The next week, the blood test gave numbers that were not exactly DOUBLE, which is what the nursing staff had told Leah it should be. She worried. I worried. We prayed. The following morning, however, the doctor called and reassured Leah. Even though the numbers had not precisely doubled, the pregnancy was still healthy and there was nothing to worry about.

*Sigh of relief number two*

“Just to be on the safe side, though, let’s schedule an ultrasound for next week,” the doctor also said.

While we waited for the ultra sound, normal days were happening. Leah was having classic symptoms of pregnancy… heartburn, nausea, etc. Although those are annoying, we were joyful at the presence of them, because it just kept reassuring us that THIS pregnancy was a keeper. The Christmas season was upon us, and my heart began to soar a little. Then came the day of the ultrasound appointment. I’d asked Leah to text me as soon as she knew anything. Her text came, and it seemed tentative. Something about not being able to detect a heartbeat, and the sac measuring a bit small. “But it’s really early still” the technician had told them. So we didn’t know anything for sure. But I could tell Leah was worried. The doctor would call the next morning with official results. So, we waited.

The next morning I got a text from Leah that sucked the air out of my lungs. I was in the living room of my house, trying to start the academic portion of our (homeschool) day with my 13 and 17 year old daughters. These are Leah’s younger sisters, and they love her very much. These are my two youngest children who have cried and cried with us as the whole family grieved the loss of two tiny babies already. These are my teenagers who have grappled alongside me with those un-answerable questions. I silently read the text from my phone screen: “I just want you to know that I heard from the doctor’s office. I was prepared for them to be pretty negative but it was actually even worse than I thought…” She went on to explain that the results of the ultrasound were not good and that their instructions were to basically hunker down and prepare for a miscarriage. Although I’m not typically a cryer… I burst into tears right there in front of my girls. “I CANNOT watch my daughter go through this AGAIN,” I sobbed. Academics got cancelled and we spent that time praying instead. We pleaded for God to work a miracle.

The morning after that, I reached out to check on Leah. I told her how much and how fervently we’d prayed. She was appreciative, and I began to hear a twinkle of positivity in her voice. She and Ben had opted to hang on to the phrase “It’s not over till it’s over” and to keep praying and trusting God for restoration and Life! I could tell that faith was rising… at Leah’s house AND at mine! We were choosing to stay encouraged, and keep believing that our God is a miracle-working God!

Then things started getting really exciting!  We both go to churches that encourage the prophetic. We believe that God still speaks to people, and that members of the body of Christ can encourage each other with “words” that they’ve received from the Lord. We’ve seen some amazing fruit come from these types of prophetic encounters, and some very accurate words have been delivered in our churches. So, on the heels of that day after the first ultrasound, when we felt faith rising for this pregnancy, sweet friends from church began to reach out with very encouraging words. There were also prophetic dreams, and those special ‘signs’ that happen when a group of people are praying SO hard over something. The world calls them ‘coincidences’ but praying people see them as God intervening. For example, Leah and Ben had latched on to the phrase “it’s not over till it’s over,” and that phrase started popping up everywhere! Leah’s favorite podcast preacher released a message that same week, and the sermon was titled “It’s Not Over Until It’s Over.” The sermon itself was very faith-stirring, and pounded the concept that God keeps His promises! We were so encouraged!

Person after person reached out and proclaimed that God had spoken and said that Leah would NOT lose this baby. People even prophecied that God had revealed to them the gender of the baby, and that this child would grow up to be mighty in God’s Kingdom. With every encouraging message, dream and sign, our faith climbed a little higher. Then came one REALLY encouraging phone call!

Several days after the initial doctor had called and told Leah to prepare for a miscarriage, a different (higher ranking) doctor called and told Leah that she may have been misinformed. This doctor had just reviewed the images on the ultrasound and said that things actually didn’t look that grim! She had a completely different perspective on things, encouraged Leah that this could still be a viable pregnancy, and scheduled a follow-up ultrasound in one week. OH MAN DID OUR HEARTS SOAR! Here’s what I wrote in my journal the next morning:

ABBA! Yesterday Leah’s doctor’s office called and began to speak a different word over Baby B!! Highly unusual! I THANK You, God! I thank You that You are turning this situation around!

So, enter another seven days of walking by faith. Leah was still pregnant, and her body was showing no signs of miscarriage. Christmas was getting closer, and we allowed ourselves to feel festive. God was quietly working a miracle, and this Christmas was going to end up being extra special!

The day of the follow-up ultrasound came. I was at home, praying and expecting to receive news of a marvelous confirmation of our faith. Instead I got this text from Leah:

Hey. It isn’t good. No further development or heartbeat.

Sorry to have to text you this.

She sounded like a robot.  This is my early-20’s girl, an expert ‘texter’ who uses all kinds of expressive words and humor, and also emoji’s,  to get her points across.  But on this day, all of that was absent.  Just the dry facts appearing on my phone screen.  My heart sank to my feet.  What about all the prophetic words?  What about what God had indicated through all those signs and dreams?  I thought He was doing a miracle!  Lord, PLEASE!!  Don’t let this happen the THIRD TIME.  And right here at CHRISTMAS! I ached with sadness.  And I felt that ache touching another pain in my heart. Two things were connecting down in the depths of me, and they both hurt. They both had to do with prophetic words that don’t turn out to be accurate.

I knew to let Leah have some time and space.  I knew that she and Ben needed to be able to sort through their own disappointment.  The next morning I talked to her.  She sounded…. cut off from her self.  She sounded angry.  And very sad.  She said things like,

we just wasted two weeks of believing/hoping/praying

obviously God can do what He wants, but if I’m gonna lose the baby my only prayer is that my body will just get it over with, so that it’s not happening right ON Christmas.            (This was December 21st)

May I be completely honest?  I was mad. Mad at God.  And my prayers to Him were angry prayers.  I prayed for my child, “Lord God please just have mercy on her and let this process happen soon and quickly so that it’s not exactly during Christmas.”  But days went by and nothing happened.  Leah and Ben were outwardly strong… probably because they had to be. They have two children and wanted to make the Christmas season special and joyful for them! I admired my daughter as she, with stricken heart, carried on through those last few days leading up to Christmas, focusing on making things wonderful for her little family.

I’ll spare us the typing out of the details at this point, but the miscarriage did happen during Christmas.  It was a difficult one, and though she’d resolved in her soul to NOT end up in the hospital on Christmas, that’s exactly how things unfolded.  Unlike the previous two miscarriages, with this one Leah was hemorrhaging and couldn’t get that under control.

Worst.

Case.

Scenario.

Everything we’d prayed so hard for had NOT happened, and everything we prayed SO DILIGENTLY asking God to NOT let happen… ended up happening.  We were stunned with anguish, confusion and what felt like righteous anger… but we didn’t get bitter, and we never accused God of being not good.  We just cried out to Him in deep prayer, “God we don’t understand!”

It’s okay to scream to God that you don’t understand.  It’s okay to groan and cry and tell him that his lack of intervening has made you feel bewildered and unrescued.  He can take it, and He is a God who understands how our hearts feel.  As I reminded myself of these truths, I figured I’d better go ahead and bring to God in prayer the other issue that was nagging at my wounded heart.

Way back at the beginning of 2017, I had been given some very exciting and encouraging prophetic words from several different people.  During the first week of January alone, three different trustworthy, Jesus-loving friends had come to me… each one NOT KNOWING that any others had come… and said that God had shown them that I would get my voice back in 2017.  Our whole church and many other friends have been praying a long time for the restoration of my voice, but this was the first time I’d been given such encouragement, with a date attached!  I rejoiced at this information!  “2017, huh? Wow, Abba, thank you! This is so exciting! I wonder what month it will happen? Oh I hope it happens before the big mission trip in July! Lord you know I really need my voice for that mission trip!”  These were my thoughts and prayers.  I totally believed that I would experience the restoration of my voice in 2017.  I just hoped that God didn’t mean, like, December 31st, 2017.  He wouldn’t do that, surely.

But 2017 marched on like weeks, months and seasons do… and I ended up tackling each thing on my calendar without a voice.  I teach school. I lead a group of Youth on Wednesday nights at my church.  I am a Pastor’s wife for goodness sakes! Ya need a voice for these things! I strain and croak out sounds, and it makes people feel awkward. I see it on their faces when they think it’s not showing. People ask me if it hurts to talk, and for some reason I always lie and tell them that it doesn’t.  I guess I’m eager to put them at ease.  The Mission trip came and went… No healing of the voice.  A giant Youth event that I was leading in October came and went… same thing.  But I kept hoping. I kept writing in my journal, and praying, and reminding God that I’d received those awesome prophetic words!  I stirred up my faith and reminded myself that 2017 wasn’t over yet.

I stayed  in that mindset all the way through the grief of Leah’s third miscarriage. I just knew that my voice restoration was one miracle we were going to see!  But before we could even surface for oxygen from the stunning loss of the baby, it was midnight on New Year’s Eve and my voice was as strained and croaky as ever.

This has been a painful blog to write and it has come with difficulty and SLOWNESS.  I started it in early January and now it’s almost six weeks later! It has never taken me this long to sort through my circumstances, my feelings, my heart, and whip it all up into a blog-post. Like I said at the beginning, I didn’t even want to write it in the first place, but the Lord just kept on prompting me to. He knew it would help me, and I certainly hope that my words here can help someone else!  That’s why I blog!

When you’re trying to live here on this earth as a Christian, and be the ‘real deal’… an authentic Christ-follower, walking-by-faith kind of person, you are going to encounter seasons where painful disappointments and difficulties hit you in rapid succession, to the point of making it seem like God is not there, or not on your side… not helping you. I don’t know why this is an inevitable ingredient in the lives of God’s children, but I do know that these times bring us to a choice.  We can grow bitter and begin to close ourselves off from God, or we can choose to stay open and trusting… even when we cannot understand why God has allowed such suffering to come.  I explained it to my youth group like this:  Picture, in your mind, a shelf. And on that shelf is a box. The box has a label on it that reads, “I will NEVER understand this.”  The three miscarriages, the ‘mistaken prophetic words,’ the dashed hopes for a miracle, the lack of healing for my voice…. all of those things went into the box.   But remember, the box is on a shelf! And the shelf is labeled, “GOD IS GOOD.”  All of that sorrow that I will never understand is resting on a shelf called God is Good.

Now, as I begin to close out this post, let’s take a look at the mistaken prophetic words. Analyzing what happened is important, because letting the authentic gift of prophecy happen in the local church is important.  As I already mentioned, both Leah’s church and my church have embraced the prophetic and have experienced some wonderful fruit from it!

I’ll admit, on January 1st my heart wanted to take this stance: “Okay THAT’S IT… FORGET the prophetic! People mess it up, people don’t hear correctly, and it does too much damage! I don’t want to run the risk of opening my heart up to that again.” But then I thought of 1 Corinthians 14: 1-5. (Look it up and read it!)  Paul  goes on and on about how beautiful and LEGIT the gift of prophecy is in the New Testament church!  And then I thought about all the accurate, LOVELY words from the Lord that have happened in and through our ministries… words that have really helped people!  So I decided to soften my stance and just pray some more about it.  Over the last six weeks, as I’ve prayed, God has shown me that there will always be risk involved in staying open to the prophetic, but He does want us to stay open to it.  He also showed me that people, especially the ones that are new to the prophetic, sometimes will hear a word that is not accurate because they are listening to a part of their heart that LOVES you.  They feel love and empathy for you, because you are going through a tough thing (miscarriage, illness, etc.) and they desire so strongly for you to be healed/rescued that they mistake that holy desire for the voice of the Lord.  It comes from a place of love, so they feel it must be God talking. We can train ourselves to listen for that.  Now that I’ve lived through this season of disappointment, I can train my ear to listen in the future… “Is this person speaking out of a deep desire they have to see a certain miracle happen? And could they be getting mixed up because they truly love me, or feel empathy for me, and are hoping so strongly for a good turn-around to my circumstances?  As wise Christians, we can check for that.  And this wisdom works from the opposite direction as well!  As we pray for others, and try to get an encouraging ‘word from the Lord’ to help someone through a tough time, let’s check and make extra-sure that we are not prophesying out of simply a place of deep empathy for what the person is going through. Deep love, empathy, and compassion may feel like the “voice of the Lord,” but clearly they are not the same thing. Let’s learn to be really careful about that!

Guys… life can be brutal sometimes. But GOD is always good. He offers a Peace that comes when ‘understanding’ can’t. He brings forth fruit from our lives, on his time schedule and in the way HE wants.  And all the while He is loving us with an unexplainable, radical love. If you don’t know Him at this kind of level, set your heart on a course to find Him here. It sometimes feels like rough, scary waters… and it definitely gets messy and involves risk… but it’s worth it. HE’s worth it.

THE AMAZING MOMENT OF SILENCE AT THE CALL

(This title borrowed from a 13-yr-old.)

Ever participated in a “moment of silence”?  I figure we all have. Whether it’s a football game, or in a classroom somewhere, or another kind of public gathering, we’ve all been led by a speaker to pause and offer a Moment of Silence…usually as a way to show respect for the victims of a tragedy. It’s a way to honor the dead or injured. It’s a way to call attention to the fact that a significant loss has been suffered. It feels appropriate. And it usually lasts about one minute.

Actually, for the purpose of this blog-post, I took the time to do some research on “the average length of a moment of silence.”  Wikipedia said it was one minute. But some other website options popped up as well, so I looked around.  Y’ALL! We as the human race are so funny!  I was seriously laughing as I read some of the dead-serious posts on this topic. It seems that, as we modernize and progress as a culture, it turns out that one minute is too long!

One Bride-to-be logged her question on a wedding planning forum. “I want to have a moment of silence during our ceremony to honor some grandparents who have passed away. How long should the Moment be?”

Oh my word, the answers!! Most advice givers said something like this: “Girl one minute is waaayy too long. It sounds short when you’re just talking about it, but try sitting down with a stopwatch, by yourself, and set it for one minute. Sit there in silence and you’ll realize… it’s excruciating!”  (Some used the words “awkward” or “painful.”)  One advice-giver agreed and told her that waiting one minute would cause her guests to squirm.

WELL…. at The Call event in Washington D.C. last month, we had a Moment of Silence that lasted FIVE minutes, and I want to tell you about it!

First, let me describe the setting. We’d traveled there to participate in a four-day event.  Awaken the Dawn was the first three days, which included 72 hours of NON-STOP worship and prayer, coming from over 50 tents (each state had a tent and then there were also Regional tents) all spread out over the entire National Mall of our nation’s Capitol.  It was outdoors, and it was HUGE.  Right in the center, there was the Main Stage… you know the type… a great big outdoor stage with full professional Lighting and Sound, “jumbo-trons”, etc.  From this stage the top Worship bands played, and the keynote speakers spoke. Then on Monday (the fourth day), after Awaken the Dawn closed out, we all transitioned into the event called, simply, “THE CALL.” It also happened from the Main Stage.

I describe all this to drive home a point:  It was outdoors, and it was loud! It was public, and anyone who happened to be in, on, or around the National Mall that day was “at” this event whether they intended to be or not. There were no fences or barriers separating our giant event from the general public. So… tourists, sight-seers, politicians, office workers, Capitol police, State Troopers, lawyers, interns, school kids on field trips…. we were all mixed in there together!

Because I’d brought a group of young people from our church to this event, and because I was also helping to keep an eye on my toddler-age grandbabies, we chose to settle our group kind-of on the edge of things… not deep in the center of the crowd. This gave me an even better view of the people passing by, the every day people who’d not planned to be attending a Christian mega-event that day.  I studied their faces.

When it was loud, with either a worship band or an impassioned speaker, they were fine. These every-day-people just tuned it out. But when the Moment of Silence came, things changed.  Before I describe their reactions, let me insert here the words one of our young people posted on social media afterwards. This is from the same kid who inspired my title.

If no one has told you, we spent the entire morning rallying and shouting and singing and jumping and making tons of NOISE. We were praying for NO MORE ABORTION. It was so powerful, and it was literally like God was releasing a roar upon that place. 

Then. 

We get these pieces of red tape. They have the word “LIFE” written on them. And all those people, more people than I’ve ever been with at one time in my whole life, put one of those over their mouths and we were in silence for five minutes, on our knees. And I SWEAR IT WAS MORE POWERFUL THAN THE WORSHIP. THERE WAS NO NOISE. AND IT WAS EVEN LOUDER THAN THE NOISE WE HAD MADE BEFORE. 

Just the silence was so holy. The air was literally filled with this heaviness. It wasn’t sadness, exactly. But it was a cry for our nation because GUYS it’s MESSED UP!

Just seeing the silent tears running down people’s faces and watching as even the people who weren’t pressing in before were overtaken by the moment of remembering supposedly-lost children who aren’t lost after all…

There had been SO MUCH worship. There had been SO MUCH noise.  There had been cries for justice, forgiveness, mercy and grace. It’s like we were building toward something…. a crescendo pointing toward the more important.  And then the Silence came, and I don’t know how else to describe it but it was like God’s heart spilled out there.  It was for aborted babies, and broken-hearted mamas, and guilt and shame and self-hatred. It was for healing and freedom and restoration of joy. It was almost too much.   It was holy.  Right there in the middle of Washington, D.C.

And the every-day people noticed it.  It was so interesting to watch.  Their faces showed bewilderment and awe at the same time. Fifty-thousand people had just suddenly grown completely silent.  The passers-by could hardly process it.  And when it went on and on…. it freaked them out.  Some quickened their pace, as if trying to escape this anomaly. Some instinctively slowed down, maybe some forgotten part of their soul trying to savor God for a moment.  All looked as though they’d fallen through a glitch in the matrix.

Before I close out this blog-post, may I draw your attention to one last thing?  Look at Revelation, chapter 8. “And  when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”  God has His own pre-planned Moment of Silence, and it will go on for a lot longer than one, or five, minutes.  Can you even imagine it?  And just like at The Call, this Moment of Silence comes at the apex of a crescendo.  In Revelation, it’s a VERY DRAMATIC  crescendo!  It’s beyond the scope of this blog to get into interpretations of the book of Revelation, but I encourage you to read the crescendo, study God’s Moment of Silence, and see what you think it may be about.

Maybe the amazing Moment of Silence at The Call was just a small foreshadowing of one that’s coming up very soon.

GRIT AND HIGHLIGHTS

How do you show a “Highlight reel” from an event that hasn’t happened yet? Well, it’s called a Promotional Video! And some companies are very good at making them. They craft scenes that illustrate what they HOPE will be the very best moments of their upcoming event, they add all the right positive vibes and heart-touching filters, and *Boom*, as soon as you’ve watched it you say, “I HAVE to go to that!”
Awaken the Dawn producers made really good promotional videos. Kudos to their team for working so hard! They took their high quality videos to social media, and the results are in: thousands of people responded by attending their event!
AND THE EVENT WAS GOOD. But it didn’t live up to the promotional videos, and here’s why that’s a GOOD thing:
On the looong ride home from Washington D.C. the day after Awaken the Dawn ended, I had time to debrief with the students from our youth group who’d (very excitedly!) come with us to attend this amazing three day event. One young teen named Carter was still trying to process everything  (weren’t we ALL? 😄🙃) and he said something that really struck me. I’ve actually thought about it a LOT since these words came tumbling out of his mouth, and it has inspired this blog post.
He said, “I thought that the whole thing would be exactly like the videos we watched before coming. But… I realize now… there are a lot of normal moments in between the highlights.”
BAM, Carter. You just hit the nail on its head.
Also: Welcome to ministry. Welcome to real life and tryin’ to serve Jesus & his kingdom. Most of it ain’t gonna make the highlight reel. But that’s okay because God is recording it allll! And one day we get to sit down with Him, snuggled up with a big bowl of popcorn, and watch the whole movie.
When Carter mentioned the “normal moments in between” he was talking about the nitty gritty. He was talking about MANY trips to the stinky port-a-johns, about long waits in long lines to buy food from the side of a noisy truck in the hottest, stickiest humidity you can imagine. He was talking about walking FARRRR to the metro station, and accidentally getting on the wrong train. He was probably even talking/reminiscing about staying up all night in the rain and the weird effects of sleep deprivation on the human brain!
As I pondered Carter’s words, my own remembering kicked in, about the “normal moments in between.” The literal grit and gravel in my shoes, and how it turned to mud after the rain. The rude lady on the Metro. How my muscles ached when my 4 yr old grandson fell asleep in my arms and I had nowhere to lay him down for almost an hour.
None of this was on the Promotional videos. And that’s good because it teaches kids like Carter, and grownups like me, that ministry consists of a few highlights popping up here and there but MOSTLY and MAINLY it’s just doing life with and for people. It’s being authentic and in-love-with-Jesus in the daily grind of life. Just like Jesus Himself did. He walked down long dusty roads… dealing with people, hanging out with his disciples, talking, laughing, getting into scrapes with rude people and antagonistic people, looking for a place to eat, dealing with interruptions, ….. just LIFE.
Prior to the Awaken the Dawn event I had the privilege and joy of hearing its Founder and visionary, David Bradshaw, speak at one of our local churches. He said something that day that really encouraged me, and I completely agree with him. He said that the LOCAL CHURCH and its ministries are God’s “PLAN A” in the Kingdom, EVEN MORE THAN GATHERINGS.
In other words, great big national gatherings and special events are good, and they do have their place, but the pastors who are making church happen week in and week out in their own communities, getting up every morning and laying down their life to try and bring our world a little closer to the Kingdom of Jesus… THOSE are the ones God holds in especially high regard. This was special to me that particular morning because of a specific reason.
*My husband is one of those pastors.*
Ya know why he wasn’t with me to hear David Bradshaw? Because it was on a Sunday morning, and across town from our own church. I was free to go, but somebody had to stay and make Church happen for OUR local congregation! My husband stepped up and gladly did his job, just like he has for thousands of weeks of Sundays and Wednesday Nights and every other day when there needed to be an outreach or a counseling session or a wedding or a funeral or a hospital visit.
Doing the Jesus life.
Sometimes there’s gravel in your shoe, and the port-a-John is out of toilet paper.
But God values you HIGHLY in all of those moments! We just have to stay in love with Jesus and keep Him at our very core. Let HIM (He is the living, fresh Water that flows up from the deep part of us) be what exudes out of us while we wait in a long line, or get shoved aside by a rude person, or….. whatever ‘normal’ moments await us.
And don’t forget to honor and thank your local pastor! They’re doing the Plan A of the Kingdom. ❤️
P.S. I had THE MOST WONDERFUL time at Awaken the Dawn and there were most DEFINITELY some highlights! I promise my next post will be about those! God bless David Bradshaw and his whole team, and Lou Engle and all of The Call people too! Something was begun in Washington on October 6-10, 2017 that will reverberate across the world for a very long time! 💪🏻

THE WORDS JESUS DIDN’T SAY

Imagine that you’re at a local sporting event, and the moment has come for the National Anthem to be sung. A guest soloist is brought out, and into the microphone he confidently and beautifully begins…”Oh say can you see? By the dawn’s early light…” The singer does a great job, but at the end, something very strange happens. He sings, “O’er the Land of the freeeee…,” but then stops and sits down! Everyone there would have the same thought: Hey that guy didn’t finish the song! Can you imagine the feeling of (for lack of a better word)…unresolved-ness  that would be hanging in the air??  Well that’s what happened on the day Jesus entered the synagogue in Nazareth and began to read.

It was the Sabbath. He was in his own home town. And the Bible says he went to the synagogue “as was his custom.” (Yay for this giant plug for weekly church attendance!!) He was fresh off of his 40 Day Fast in the wilderness, and he was launching his ministry. He had a statement to make. Luke, chapter 4, describes the moment:

“…he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down.”

Oh, Dr. Luke! THANK YOU for these details!! Dear reader do you see why he included this last part? Jesus didn’t just ambiguously taper off with his reading of this famous passage from Isaiah. He ended most decidedly right where he meant to end, rolled up the scroll,gave it back, and sat down! The PROBLEM??

HE CHOPPED OFF THE LAST PHRASE. 

AND IT WAS THEIR FAVORITE PART. 

Let’s look at the actual passage Jesus read that day. It’s in Isaiah 61, verses 1 and 2. Jesus read ALL of verse one, so I won’t re-type it. But verse two is where the Jews in the synagogue that day had their problem, so let’s examine it:  “…to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (here’s where Jesus stopped, but Isaiah goes on) and the day of vengeance of our God.” 

Ever heard of the Age of Grace? You’re living in it, in case you don’t know. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s go back to Luke, chapter four. Luke does a great job of describing the awkward moment that has just befallen Nazareth’s Jewish congregation. He says that after Jesus sat down, “the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.”

You know what I think? I think they were already ticked. He’d stopped short of saying their favorite part, and it bugged them.  “…year of the Lord’s favor yeah, yeah Jesus…hurry up and get to the good part! We want vengeance. We wanna see Rome get theirs. We wanna see all our oppressors get kicked in the teeth.” So they fastened their eyes on him, the room was very  ‘vibey’ and they waited to hear what he’d say next.

And what he DID say next… Well it’s only the Best. News. Ever.

Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 

GAH!! Pardon me while I geek out for a moment. It’s…. The gospel in a nutshell! He just listed off his job description as SAVIOR OF MANKIND. We’d been building toward this moment since GENESIS CHAPTER THREE!!!

But the peeps in Synagogue that day? They missed it. Because they were too focused on revenge.

Let’s see what happened next.

“All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. ‘Isn’t this Joseph’s son?’ they asked.”

These people.  In their hearts they were ticked. But with their mouths they were being complimentary. I don’t know about you, but right here I’m picking up on some fake and some condescension. They weren’t “amazed” at his words in the sense that they were agreeing with him, but rather that he sounded so… educated and graceful. Wasn’t this the kid who grew up in that carpenter’s shop down the road?

And Jesus? Of course he saw right through it. That’s why he said the laser-focused, accurate, and very blunt things in verses 23-27.  Yep, he poked ’em right in their religious spot.  And literally within five minutes of complimenting him, they were dragging him outside to KILL him!  (They weren’t successful because it wasn’t yet his time.) But Golly Peterson this really happened!! And it all started because Jesus left out the part about vengeance.

Do you know WHY he did that? It’s very important! And, it reminds me of a joke from elementary school:  did you hear about the old couple whose house sat right beside the railroad track? Every night, at precisely 3:00 a.m., the train would come through, and it’d be SO loud that it would shake their house. Any overnight guests would always comment the next morning and say “How can you sleep through that?!” The old couple would answer, “We never hear a thing.”  Then, one night, the train did not come through, and at precisely 3:00 a.m. the old couple both sat straight up in bed and said “WHAT WAS THAT?!”

Do you get it? It was the absence of the noise that they noticed! Because they’d become so accustomed to the train.  Jesus knew that by NOT saying the last phrase of Isaiah’s sentence, HUGE significance would be drawn there. What IS this significance? My Bible’s study notes underneath Isaiah 61 explain it like this: “Christ ended his quotation at this point because the ‘day of vengeance’ will not occur until His second coming.”

Thirty-year-old Jesus of Nazareth was stepping into his Calling. He was embracing his mission. And FOR THAT SEASON it would have nothing to do with vengeance. He basically was saying ‘hey people of the world, for a pre-set season of time, you get GRACE. You get FREEDOM, HEALING, JOY… you get to revel in GOOD NEWS, you get to live in God’s FAVOR!  ENJOY THIS! ENJOY ME! I’m your Savior.’

And guess what, people of the 21st Century? WE ARE STILL IN THAT SAME SEASON. From the day Jesus shed his blood on the cross, until now, the message is ALL grace and zero vengeance. This All-Grace message was very important to Jesus, and so should it be to us. Vengeance comes…. but later. And God is in charge of that, not us. We wait, knowing that He will make everything right when that “day of vengeance” does finally come.

Why am I writing a blog about this now? Because I’ve been noticing for some time now a trend, even among Christian leaders, on social media and other public forums, where the thing to do is “shred” someone, or “destroy” someone. And if you’re not the one doing the shredding/destroying/obliterating, you’re invited to “click here” to read or watch someone get shredded.  What IS that fiber in our hearts that makes us want to participate in this? It scares me. It makes me think of those synagogue people in Nazareth….acting all proper and religious until their true colors came out and next they were literally trying to kill Jesus. Am I just a mood-swing away from acting similarly? Are you?

What’s the antidote?  Take time to personally soak in the grace He has offered  you.  Every day, lavish your own mind with His favor and freedom. Let the forgiveness that the Cross brings saturate your being down to your bone marrow. Be intentional with this!  Let me personalize this last statement so that this blog doesn’t sound preachy: daily I want to remind myself that it’s a very good thing that I live under the banner of “the year of the Lord’s favor” because if not, I would deserve his vengeance. Were it not for Calvary and Grace, I personally would be living under impending judgment.

BUT I’M NOT!! Because of the words Jesus didn’t say, I live under freedom and forgiveness and grace! May I continually increase in my capacity to offer that same grace to others! No more shredding.