An intercessor’s life is peculiar. We require a lot of quiet and reflective time, praying, fasting, pushing aside things—sometimes important things—in a moment’s notice when the Holy Spirit prompts. We are dedicated, reliable, sensitive, sacrificial, and disciplined. Some of the requests, places in the spirit world the Lord wants us to stand-in-the-gap over, can be wild stuff. We are enabled to see through God’s eyes regarding particular details. Sometimes we get a glimpse of the fruit of our labors, oft times we don’t, but we do this thing called intercession anyway. I love my life of intercessory prayer because it’s more time spent with the Lord. The process heightens how we hear his voice; it expands how we depend on him. And it’s for the sake of others. Heart for God; heart for his people. But we’ve all had our struggles with the calling.
The hardest part for me is finding balance… the fine line between being empathetic while you’re pouring yourself out over an assignment and investing in someone else’s spiritual journey, and remaining objective so that the process doesn’t consume you. Intercessors often operate under a sense of need to help others. It gets heated, intense sometimes, especially when coming against principalities and demonic warfare. It’s emotional. I am an all-or-nothing person. This makes me a committed and fervent prayer warrior; also, a basket-case when an assignment lifts or concludes, where I’m wandering about without aim or inspiration. We have to learn how to trust in between commitments, stay prayed up and not let our guard down, and be obedient in letting go. For it all belongs to the Lord, from the beginning to the end. Occasionally I’ve had assignments I wish I hadn’t, with awful warfare, and felt relieved to get through them. Yet the biggie for me more often is letting go. Because I still feel tied to circumstances and people I’ve prayed for, in a personal way—especially if it lasts for months or years.
An example of this is when, not that long ago, a maritime assignment lifted. My spiritual obligation over this one lasted quite a while, and it was a journey, as some of you might already know. It began with the Holy Spirit alerting me to specific seaports, then ships and crewmembers. And I prayed over a whole gamut of conditions and seafarers (also floating church planting and port outreaches). Near the end of this task, the Holy Spirit would give me the name of a ship and where geographically it was positioned. Found these nifty little apps that can track ships, so discovering each of these named vessels was like a treasure hunt, and a joyous confirmation of the Lord’s lead. Each called out ship was exactly as the Lord said it was and where. He also gave me Words of Knowledge to understand what the vibe was on board, the spirits, the challenges, the sailors… and sometimes who might the Lord want covered in a specific way. I knew via the Holy Spirit when he gave me the name of the latest vessel, that it would be my last—at least within this format at this time. Understood that my prayer voyage here would lift at this ship’s next port. It was so very sweet when I discovered my last port of call would be Seattle. My hometown. I’ve lived in East Tennessee for so long it’s home to me now, too. But I grew up in Seattle. It’s still my home. I prayed, and watched via satellite in real time, as the tugboats came along and assisted this vessel into the Port of Seattle—arrived! It felt like a homecoming party. I celebrated. And these people, this crew, had no idea a crazy intercessor was praying for them, watching them, fasting on their behalf (or maybe they did, as the Lord told me there were firm believers on board). I always wonder, does somebody sense it when a prayer warrior across the oceans has gone up to bat for them? Fasting and praying, fighting and rejoicing? Probably many someone’s, as I’m not the only spiritual-crazy out there. But… then it was sad for me to let go. I felt invested in the task. I also stretch and grow during these times. The Lord takes me through a journey, asking if I’d do this or that, how much am I willing to commit, how far will I follow his lead? I also have to press in sometimes for clarity, just to understand if I’d heard God correctly. By the way, the Lord has a very special love for seafarers. They were his first choice as his disciples.
Well, another commission came fast on the heels (stern) of that last ship. For the Lord clarified that many in my missionary/ministry circle were in or are walking into a new season. We are all in different seasons; rather, varying places within the same season I’m inclined to think. But it seems almost everybody I know has been in a series of whirlwinds to prepare, get ready, and launch or expand into something greater, different, or newer. I’ve been watching and interceding over these launches, committed to holding their arms up like Aaron to Moses and prayed as the Spirit guided. I get to pray often for those beginning new ministries—and I love that. While praying on the phone with somebody recently who was experiencing frustrating hindrances, I got a vision, and in fact had the same vision for a handful of people. We prayed it through, knocking down the demonic gatekeepers and obstacles, and asked for an angels’ charge to carry them onward. We received instant results. Thank you, victorious and glorious God!
Now, many of those I know who are being sent have begun, are all set; at least for now. And I rejoiced. I also grieved. I spend much of my time uplifting others, interceding for others, watching them go, and celebrating with them. And I’ll be there for them when they need a supportive, praying sister. But sometimes, the lowly human in me gets caught up in the flurry and then feels left behind. I wish I was the one going. I wish I was commissioned to go out in the field. I’d had that calling once. Perceived God’s call into ministry when I was a young child. Later answered the call and went into full-time ministry through Christian performing arts and worldwide missions. I really enjoyed the field, thrived in challenging environments and all. It was a good fit for my fundamental nature of yearning to absorb adventure, travel, and that deep love for different peoples and cultures. I flubbed up when I stepped away from that path, when I never should have—and God didn’t ask me to. Rather, I didn’t seek him, just did my own thing.
I’ve since come to terms with my decisions/mistakes that put a cement stop to all the “moving around” kind of ministry. Repented. Made good with serving the Lord in the best way that I can under my circumstances. I’ve sought his face, pursued his heart. I’ve been obedient. Have written a lot. Realized that I’d learned things I wouldn’t have had I not gone through the erring and wandering ways. Found humility in a place of despair, among a myriad of better things from a firmer Biblical perspective. The entire development has made me stronger. For that, I’m grateful. And I feel called again. Actually, I’m not sure the calling ever left… even if one walks away from it for a time (a long time) in life. For in Romans 11:29, it says, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
Irrevocable: “not able to be changed, reversed, or recovered; final”
So, no, maybe I’m not picking up on somebody else’s radio frequencies. They’re my signals, intended for me. If the Almighty called me once, the call is still there. And stirring. One of these days, it will be my turn to go, to embark again on a very real-life, real-time, hands-on way, and he’s going to blow my mind when he does it. And instead of my saying with spiritual eyes, “He’s doing that thing over there.” It will be with both spiritual and natural eyes, “He’s doing this thing over here,” and I’ll be reporting about it from somewhere online. When my confession grows into my testimony.
Last Thursday, another call-to-prayer over someone lifted. Right after, a cloud of oppression dropped over me. It was heavy, thick crud, and I couldn’t shake the rot off. And that’s just like the creepoid enemy; when the devil sees a vulnerability, he’ll seize the opportunity. Lasted for several hours. It was all I could do to listen to worship music and utter (even when I didn’t feel like it) “Thank you, Jesus.” Then the attack cleared with a snap (hey, maybe someone from afar was praying for me! Sure felt like I had help, and if so, thank you…) and I praised the Lord freely. But I did ask then of my savior, “Lord, what’s next for me?” And I didn’t mean a prayer assignment from my confined seat or closet.
He gave me a vision. I saw a fortified, thick-beamed entranceway. I’d been in a dark space, and this large, bold door appeared. It was holy. I think it was already there, but it only just became visible to me. There were two tubular neon-ish lights, each distinct, yet wrapped around the door and pulsating together like the aurora borealis. I could also hear and feel the pulsating energy. The one in front was rich red, the one behind was sapphire blue; the thick frame between was white. So it appeared like a living triplet of stripes… two separate and distinct colors welded together and supported by this strong inner/middle white frame. Through to the other side, steps away, was bright, beaming, living light; fluctuating and revolving as if a hundred lighthouses of holy fire. It sliced darkness. Took my breath away, especially with the sense of purpose and joy that came with this powerful vision. I wanted more, to learn more. In one word, I asked him, “Lord?” And he gave me one word for now: “Apostolic.”
And so there it is. You’ve heard it from me here. You’ll hear again from me from there. One day.
The title of this post is a headline that moves me, for it is something of which I’ve had visions. Amid unforeseen yet increasing disasters, part of the future of the church might be to go increasingly mobile. As in, able to move freely or easily between places (insertion because I’m such a definitions geek). Equipped to respond to calamities—and here’s a cool thought: spiritually instructed to move out beforehand via servants’ prophetic gifts. To arrive at a pre-designated position with an outpouring of the Lord’s spirit, and be of service to others, to help and to rescue. Spontaneous pockets of human-related holy transports, bringing safety, peace, revival and deliverance. Less a church to go to and be fed (or as often is the case in complacent places, sitting and being a spectator), more a church to go out and feed.
What if persecution, deception, and darkness worsen? If things get rockier, more chaotic, be it with wars, antichrist, politics, economies, viruses, and plagues; or if natural disasters increase in size and frequency? Might the handwriting be on the wall (expression from Daniel 5:5-31)? The Bible speaks of the earth, having once been destroyed by water because of sin, will be again destroyed by fire (Malachi 4:1, 2 Peter 3:5-7, 2 Peter 3:10, Isaiah 24:6). Seems fires and heat have cranked up in the world.
My sister, as well as another gal who is a longtime friend and fellow missionary (we served together in Brazil), and I have all had a very similar—almost the same—dream, wherein we’re once again serving together. But the scenarios are different than the mission field we’d once known. Our dreams have us in disaster-like conditions. It’s night. A volcano has erupted; glowing lava is pouring into the sea. The three of us are navigating over wet rocks raised from the seabed and pulling terror-struck people out of the burning and churning water to safety—and as in my dream, into a lifeboat; then onto a bigger boat, a ship, really, with the words True North on its bow.
These calamitous themes have been heavy on my heart lately, especially as global wildfires have spread out of control. But when I watched the news coverage of the disaster in Lahaina, and learned that people had jumped into the ocean to escape the engulfing flames, it triggered words that kept coming out of my mouth, “I wish I had a boat, I wish I had a boat, I wish I had a boat!” Drove me, feeling helpless, to pray. Prayed for the precious people of Lahaina, then I focused in on who had boats and could get there, to go and help transport the displaced, or to deliver necessities. Not to impede Coast Guard or FEMA (or any proper red tape), but to be the Jesus present, to be a spiritual voice of peace and love to those who have lost everything and are suffering. When I’d heard that some people drowned, bodies swept up on the seawall in Lahaina, I wept. That’s all I could do is intercede for those left there. Then my prayer language shifted to the implementation of more ministries, non-profits, foundations—people through whom the Lord is bringing visions that are mobile-in-nature to life. This is a vein in which the Lord often instructs me to pray.
So my abovementioned missionary friend, who is also giftedly bilingual (English/Spanish), and who served with Floating Doctors as well, heads overseas in two weeks to work on obtaining her master’s degree with a focus on disaster relief management. For decades, she’s yearned to go through this specialized one-year program and decided she’d give up all, risk all, and just do it. It’s time. This is her seasonal shift; what her changing-of-the-guard looks like, a new chapter. This incredible gal with a servant’s heart has always said, “I just want to hand a cup of water to someone who is thirsty.” And away she goes.
Mobile can also mean a fluidity in different ways than actual mobilization. Some believers are called to steward land to grow organic and sustainable crops to feed others with untainted harvests; Bible-centric therapeutic farms and/or rehab ranches where Christian healers utilize service animals of every kind and breed are under development. So are new blueprints for Messianic temples and other Jewish-flavored ministries with fresh vision and sacred worship. There are spirit-filled medical students and scientists furthering education and doing vital research on viruses, water purification, etc. And then divinely appointed unions seem to be at the heart of what God is doing right now, as well. New engagements are popping up that have “kingdom spouse” written all over them. This is all love on the move. Executed in different ways than just actual mobilization, but they all seem to have the same swift spiritual current: end times anointed ministries, and end times anointed marriages… for the glory of God. By the way, since I kept hearing “love on the move,” I Googled the phrase out of curiosity and highlighted was a Native American ministry. Which doesn’t surprise me, as this is another part in which the Lord has directed my intercession. Love on the move. I dig those words. Wow, wow, and wow, Lord! Amazing; you are amazing, God. Wow!
Within dreams and visions—and current affairs—revealing growing darkness, I also see an end times church that carries the greatest joy and brightest light—like fluid lighthouses. His light and Spirit unleashed in unprecedented ways at unprecedented times. Where glory and worship break out on the spot, or might then pick up and move to the next destination, and repeat—however the Lord wants to show up! Totally dependent on the Holy Spirit. We’d have to know the Lord’s voice and word so well! Intimately. Thus, the required time in his presence, our waiting in the wilderness, our shedding process, our journey to purity that Yeshua has been leading a lot of us through. Many are called at this hour.
Instead of, “Look out, it’s a disaster!” It’s, “Look, there’s the mobile church!” How about, “See, we’re the mobile church come to help in Jesus’ mighty name.”?
Fluid in a lot of ways, no bounds. It’s love on the move.
Seldom mentioned, the book not often read, you might find Jude making the top-ten list for the least popular books of the Bible. More of a letter, Jude’s inspired words tend to stay hidden. Perhaps this is because it’s found before the last humdinger, Book of Revelation. The end times prophecies enthrall many people. The book of Jude, though, is no less significant. In fact, it’s a pertinent call-to-action before the end, and so relevant for right now.
The other morning when I’d asked the Holy Spirit which scripture he’d like me to read, he told me, “Jude, Chapter 1.” This gave me a chuckle, because Jude has only one chapter. Way to be specific! Anyway, I’ve been soaking in the words since. Jude paints an unattractive picture of the faithless, disobedient, and wicked. By providing three examples in his past, he gives an unpleasant warning to the people of his present. In our reading his words from roughly A.D. 66-80, he’s providing a message for OUR today.
Jude admonishes us to take heed of those who would say forgiveness allows us to live immoral lives. When we seek personal gratification and/or allow the opinion and persuasion of mankind and influence of mainstream to dictate over the opinion, persuasion and influence of God. Woe to those who would succumb to accommodating, allowing and accepting certain patterns and pressures, and compromising the faith by celebrating certain things or movements that, well, shouldn’t be. Not if we’re to uphold the truth.
He reminds us of Egypt, when God rescued the nation of Israel, but destroyed those who didn’t remain faithful; fallen angels, who rebelled against God’s authority and were ousted into prisons of darkness until the day of judgment; Sodom and Gomorrah, destroyed for its practice of sodomy and other acts of sexual immorality, perversion—and what our unchanging God still calls unnatural and wicked. Jude also gives examples of woe for like that in Cain, who killed his brother; Balaam, doing anything for money; and Korah, rebelling against God-appointed leaders.
The idea of forgiveness, even in some of the church today, has seeped in with a faux glittery package that says we can identify as and be whoever we want and live however we want and God loves us no matter what. Aren’t we special! Well, yes, God loves us. But he loves us so much, he calls us out of sin. Because our society, and the prevalent way of thinking, is wrong, about a lot of stuff, when compared to the Bible. Forgiveness first means repentance. Sincere regret, when we call on God our Father, is replaced with mercy and compassion (because we are special, the apple of his eye). And we’re in the fold, into his kingdom, just like that. So very simple, because Christ bore our sins and grace is a gift that reaches the deepest depths for us. True repentance gifts us with eternal life.
What’s most humanly difficult is wading through the gravity of our centuries of pervasive sin. We (mankind through Adam and Eve) had it pretty good once. God created this perfect paradise in the Garden of Eden, and we had freedom and wholeness from sickness, disease, destruction, confusion, chaos, hatred, dissension, division, yada yada yada. Most of all, we had the privilege and pleasure of being in constant, beautiful, fluid communion with the One who created us! We had peace and unequivocal acceptance. By our choice, through temptation that has since wreaked havoc on our souls, man fell away from God, separated and banned from the Garden. Now here we are today, born into that same sin, feeling like gravity, difficult to wade through the effects on our bodies and psyches… but not impossible. Because of God’s love for us, and his great patience, waiting and hoping, and reaching, and extending the ultimate sole path (Jesus) for us to rejoin him.
What’s distinct is the favor and knowledge of God. What’s key is our everlasting survival. We are to protect the truth of the Gospel against a culture that would seek to twist, corrupt, or compromise the truth in the name of tolerance or acceptance. Indeed, with a heart of compassion, we are to reach out to our brothers and sisters and help hurting people, whether it be from abuse, identity crisis, rejection, perversion, prostitution, slavery, addiction—literally everything. But none of us are meant to stay where we are. We’re to come out of sin and away from a lifestyle of sin. And to support each other out of it. Our identity is in Christ alone. We reject whatever is keeping us from being holy—for we are called to be holy. The world is dark and getting darker. He’s calling us higher, closer; to be a beacon on a hill, a lighthouse in the night season, to spend more time in his presence. It takes a daily renewal and commitment.
Jude’s message today would be unacceptable in many circles of our current culture. If he were living right now among us, he’d be called something like a hater, rude, or intolerant. But what he does in a 25-verse chapter is admonish those in the faith to fight for the faith. For the love of his neighbors, for the love of God, he takes a sad song and makes it better. We’re to study The Word, build each other up, pray in the Holy Spirit—not asking for selfish gain but to know him better. And if you don’t know how to do that, how to listen and hear from God, how to even start… It’s sort of like learning a foreign language. You’ve been given the free-kit or app, so to speak. When you first start studying a language, little makes sense. But as you listen, read, practice, spend time in it… the more you immerse yourself in it, the more you understand, the more fluent you become.
Be fluent in the Gospel. The Word of God is where you find the only pure and unadulterated truth; and unblemished and perfect love. Little known Jude packs a punch, but it is Good News. Why not start there? And from there, perhaps, Psalm 32 (The Joy of Forgiveness).
A return of my Hearts in Africa series is here with installment #3 in a four-book sequence. Can also be read as a standalone. I’d written and completed this book years ago. Advice from an earlier publisher I had contracted with, to drop the romances and focus on their forte of suspense and thriller, had me file the manuscript away. I thought for good. But I’ve determined recently to resurrect this novel, along with others I’d completed and/or started yet never launched. In hindsight, I should have published this work back then and in order. Not that the advice given to me was off beam. I understand the marketing incentive, and also avoiding possibly polarizing my readers. The focus on one style or genre works well and for many people. However, I’ve felt hemmed in when I’m inspired to create in a variety of genres and voices (even POVs) yet have believed I can’t or shouldn't. I started wondering why I have to stick to a specific style. If God plants ideas and inspirations in your heart and soul, they need to be able to grow; not kept buried underground. Sometimes it’s a timing issue; sometimes it’s a choice. Maybe sometimes it’s both. Be faithful in the things over which you can choose. I’ve not allowed some of my works to grow much. If I’m compelled to write, finish, and edit a book, I ought to bring it to completion and release it, too--even if it's ten years later (knock on wood). Maybe that book is not for everybody, but it’s for somebody. So I’m following through by reassessing my stash of romance titles and more. Still working on my latest speculative fiction books, as well. They’ll all make their way down the pike, by God’s grace.
If you’ve held back on some once-upon-a-time creative pursuit, maybe it’s your time to take another look at the possibilities, too.
Without further ado, please welcome, Return My Heart, made available at online bookstores worldwide. If you don’t see your favorite bookstore listed after you click the button below, my distributor is working on it. The launch is that fresh. More outlets are being added each day, so be sure to check back.
About the story:
Lorelei moved to Kenya when she married Hugh Berrand, an animal behavioral scientist at Tsavo West National Park. After a year of marriage, she feels abandoned when she takes a backseat to her husband’s first passion, the maneless lions. Rejected by the field’s family of researchers, she suffers from loneliness and discord, especially when her husband is never there to support or defend her.
After Lorelei is assaulted and left for dead at Shetani, the devil’s lava, she struggles to put the pieces of her existence back together; namely, the fragments of her fragile marriage. But her effort proves futile with a man who seems to prefer an independent lifestyle. When an unwanted child enters the equation, the Berrand’s separate. Each tries to rebuild life from broken strands apart from each other. However, God has something else in mind and works on the hearts of Lorelei and Hugh for restoration and love anew.
Love, adventure, tragedy, redemption—all is at stake in the inspirational romance series, Hearts in Africa.
Your wilderness journey led you straight through a desert, taking years to cross. Your provisions dwindled; toes worn down to nubs. Bone-dry thirsty, malnourished, desperate for replenishing and decent covering from the scorch. You need a complete change of environment and nutritive balance. And here, you’ve not crossed the desert at all; you’ve only gone in circles. Rearranging the same old nest conditions in different patterns, just to survive—or give the appearance of survival; a place to tuck and rest your weary head. Around and round you go in the barren land of choked streams, stuck in a wash-n-dry cycle called The Agitator. The thorns of the desert cacti have shredded you, making the agitating stings more abrasive. Fear you carry isn’t that something bad will happen; it’s the dread that things will stay the same, that nothing will change.
“God, are you even there?” you ask.
“My Sparrow, I love you.
Have I not said, ‘I am with you always, even unto the end of the world?’”
“God, what do I do?”
“My Sparrow, I love you.
‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Just be in me.”
“God, do you still care?”
“My Sparrow, I love you.
Has it not been written, ‘Give all your worries and cares to me, for I care about you?’
I care so much that ‘I’ve kept track of all your sorrows. I’ve collected all your tears in my bottle. I’ve recorded each one in my book.’ Not one will be forgotten. Not one goes unnoticed. Trust me to handle your life in the best way, my way. I will carry you with my wings.”
“I feel forgotten, useless—” You think you hear a faint melody.
“My Sparrow, I love you.
‘Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.’”
There’s a pause.
“My Child, I Love You. Isn’t that enough?”
🎶 His Eye is on the Sparrow… 🎶