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.
Eshet chayil in the Hebrew, a woman of valor, means she is rich in her relationship with God. Since Hebrew is immense in multilayered word meanings, Chayil (or hayil) can also mean soldier, army, power, resources, effective, wisdom, or soul, etc. These are also allegorized as the perfect woman/wife (eshet or isha).
Valor is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness: personal bravery.”
We read about the woman of valor, or The Woman Who Fears the Lord, in Chapter 31 of the Book of Proverbs. Within the text, this woman, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” She is one who “dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.” Recently I heard a Christian speaker interpret this as that she dresses to the nines, impressing by her appearance, and referenced Esther as an example. Here is where I digress. When I dove deeper into what dressing herself with strength really means, I learned she girds her loins so that she is prepared for battle. This is to love and defend for righteousness’ sake. She prepares mentally, also pulls her tunic about her for freedom of movement. It’s like she gathers her garments so she can run up a mountain for those she loves.
Verse 30 of this part of Proverbs continues to say that, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
There is an obsessive, damage-causing emphasis on outer beauty in our society. The pressures, insecurities, comparisons to look perfect, be perfect, present perfect, to appeal to mankind, to attract a person, land a job, gain favor, is off the mark; a diversion. As is anything that deviates from Yeshua, or his Holy Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh sent to help guide and protect us and give us wisdom through our existence here on earth. Pressure or advice is everywhere to dress smarter, sexier, look the part—if you want a greater role. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to wear a nice outfit, favoring a certain fashion, styling your hair a specific way or that is appropriate for an appointment or important engagement; perhaps looking extra-nice for someone special—if it doesn’t consume our time, effort, or energy as if an idol, or attempt to beguile eyes by carnal triggers.
Queen Esther had a role to play, a mission to save her people. A powerful allegorical story. It’s often told that she underwent a year of beauty treatments before her night with the king. From more of a Jewish perspective, though, the first six months of preparation were for purification and cleansing, healing from within. The most important part. The story goes, yes, she was chosen for her beauty, but beauty began on the inside. I used to think this phrase humorous: “That person is beautiful…” then tongue-in-cheek, “on the inside.” But now I wonder why we need that differentiation when God doesn’t.
And this is admonished in 1 Peter 3:3-4: “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.”
I’m a hair braider (love braided hair), but I hope I don’t do it under the compulsion of flesh, seeking or demanding the approval of man or else I’m nothing. That notion’s gone out of bounds, and so many people—women especially, have suffered, are suffering because of objectness. Some blame men. Yet women have helped fuel the flawed system by succumbing or offering themselves, placing themselves up for the bids of money, ego, fame, lust, peer pressure, or because of a different kind of brokenness.
Then there’s the empowerment, strength, and overt confidence in oneself/herself. That’s not quite right either. Be confident in the Lord, that is, to trust in the Lord, and we are whole. Anything other and we risk sliding over to the side of narcissism. I’ve seen women take the “woman of valor” notion to the umpteenth-degree-on-steroids. A sort of “I am woman, hear me roar,” prideful enablement or arrogance. I’m all for equal rights, as in everybody treated with respect and dignity, but feminism has done quite a job of elevating woman to a throne-like status while emasculating men. We see it in the movies, media, and music… “Whatever you can do, I can do better,” mentality is rough competition that at the root tears down a lot of relationships (sort of my next blog post), because gender roles are in crisis. We are what we’re born as; there are men and there are women as the Word of God, the Bible, has inscribed. A fallen world has produced abuse, unfairness, perversion, pressure, cultural clashes, all kinds of injustices and skewed opinions and confusion between the sexes. But these things aren’t what God intended for his beautifully and wonderfully made men and women. I also recently heard a YouTuber criticize God for creating these fallout things. The statement made me shudder. God didn’t create these results of a fallen world. He gave us Eden, and we chose otherwise, and here we are living what we brought on ourselves. But God! He came to redeem us through Jesus. Again and again, his arm stretches to save; his mercy and his love are boundless.
True beauty lies within and not by our own volition. May we strive to look beyond the skin and see the light within. And may the light within grow stronger, like the beacon on a hill, a lighthouse that shines the radiance of Yeshua from our hearts and souls in a dark, misguided world. May HE be our essence, our beauty, our focus, our joy and delight. May HE be the source of our advancement and promotion. Not because we looked good or were at the most appealing age, but because he caused his favor and light to shine from our hearts, actions, and words because we’ve spent time with him who is holy and he’s filled us up. He looks at the heart. He looks at the heart. He looks at the heart! He is the Beautiful Great One (tender song by Broken Walls, by the way). To HIM be the glory.
There was once a person who hadn’t intended to be a bomb technician and wished they were something—anything—else. If only they could’ve predicted or seen from the beginning what they knew later, their life would have looked very different. They weren’t always skilled at identifying dangerous devices in a threatened area nor deactivating or disassembling the explosives. In fact, they got their start as the cleanup crew of only one, taking care of whole messes after they erupted, clearing the damage and spaces of shrapnel and debris. Even acting as a paramedic and patching wounds, deep or small. A rota never existed; nobody was scheduled to relieve them. They’d been all alone dealing with the volatile environment 24/7. They worked their way up to recognizing and diffusing danger, got good at it, skilled. Turned something destructive into something more static. Sometimes, though, sometimes they deflected the disparaging elements. Wedged a portion under a dead tree stump; hiding it from the public because of shame. Because their position, which never should have evolved in the first place, went on for too long, and what they daily faced proved hard to endure. The pressure behind such things never dissipated; in fact, felt insurmountable.
But what they tucked under that dead old stump didn’t just collect into a mound of rubble. Instead, the start of a sprig, something tender, fresh, and green pierced from beneath the hard ground and unforgiving places of concrete and gravel. The sprig became a new tree, and the living trunk grew wide and strong. Its roots went deep to where the black soil provided rich nutrients. The mighty cedar soon towered over the hidden things that had wrought such chaos and, in fact, smothered the negative forces. It overpowered cannonballs, dynamite, and other fused components, detoxifying, purifying as it reached toward the heavens. Its branches spread open and wide, providing shade to the scorched and shelter to the displaced. Its call was for helping others, but in a way that differed from thwarting disasters, especially of the human-terrorist type. Yet growing well while stuck in that unstable environment provided it the understanding necessary to gain essential nourishment and peace of the everlasting kind, and safety for the distressed. It thought its field wherein it’d planted its roots was fallow. Instead, its field had been prepared for the splendor of an entire forest of breathtaking beauty.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
Dear Bomb Technician: He makes a way where there is no way. He makes all things fresh, new, and different. Things will change. You’ve sensed this; you’ve known things have to change. Situations, while they lasted for many seasons, will not stay the same. If the hazardous devices you face are from a cyclical circumstance, work, relationship, or condition, and you’re burned out, tired of putting out the fuses alone, and sick of being so achingly lonely while doing it; lift up your eyes. Soak in the Spirit. Listen to the wind, which causes the leaves of the wilderness to dance and branches to sway in delirious freedom. Inhale the woodsy scents of other cedars. Lift your eyes to the heavens and know the promises whispered to your heart will rain down upon you. The Spirit is like the wind. You don’t know from where it comes, from where it starts, but SUDDENLY, it’s there, flowing over you, refreshing your soul. Sailing you into crystal waters, brighter beginnings, enhanced positions, thoughtful relationships, and greatest joy, where the deepest longings of your heart find fulfillment. Expansion awaits, for all that your spirit-filled life can hold and release, grow and heal, and love.
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” Psalm 92:12
“Forgive, Release, Bless…” It’s a mantra that’s grabbing my attention wherever I look and listen.
We can say we forgive someone. But if we then turn around and complain to another about how something was unfair, or someone hurt, stole, cheated or abused us, then we haven’t really forgiven. We’ve developed a grudge. That kind of emotional baggage gets weighty, a burden to carry around and unpleasant for everyone.
Writing is sometimes my therapy. I write a lot. Some I publish, some I pen under different pseudonyms, some go unpublished because it was the process that I had to go through to learn and grow, climb out of my cesspool. While creating another’s wilderness in story-form, I often go through my own spiritual wilderness. It can be tough sometimes. But the typed expressions help me breathe again, rejuvenate. I’ve had a lot of underwater dreams lately involving murky water, flooded caves, barriers, and scuba cylinders gone defunct. In one, I shout distinctly (because I can do this, it’s a dream, and I’m not a diver) to someone indistinct, “Breathe, brother, breathe!” Then there are explosions where barriers blow away, water clears, and breathing is miraculously unassisted by flung-away tanks, and I hear, “Live, sister, live.”
The tombs of our past regrets and afflictions teach us and model us for brighter futures. But some of us have focused on the tombs far too long (note to self). It’s time to step out of caves with flint-eyed focus on what’s ahead, and the life-giving promises thereof. This hinges around forgiving to where we can truly release the damage of our hearts, let go, and bless the damagers!
Even if you’re trapped in the middle of toxic, dysfunctional, or complicated situations, or have suffered inner turmoil for a long period. Maybe over decades you’ve experienced relational distress, cultural oppression, or unending sick-of-it conditions (whatever “it” might be), and you’re weary. Dead inside. Yet your sluggish legs somehow get you from point A to point B in a day, or you’re trying to move underwater wearing too many weights, burdens, baggage.
Matthew 18:18 tells us that whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. That’s the one thing we can control when we’re stuck. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks, Luke 6:45.
One of my favorite Hebrew names for God is El Roi. It means, “the God who sees me.” When we are alone, aching, forgotten by everyone else, cast aside by society, suffering in solitude, or feeling invisible, it’s the name we use to say, “but God sees.” He does. And with faith (our believing without seeing) we trust, knowing that God’s promises endure. He cares. The muck we wade through does not endure unless we allow it. So, keep hope alive in the secret chambers of your heart. Make the petitions of your lips daring prayers to El Roi, the God who sees, and Yeshua/Jesus, our guardian. Embrace the Ruach Ha Kodesh/Holy Spirit, our infuser (regulator?) and comforter. Hold fast to the Word, our way-maker, and the protractor for navigating uncharted areas.
I’ve spoken to others who sense a current spiritual movement or theme. Feels like a season of cultivation, and of internally letting go, despite circumstances, for walking into a new era. “Forgive, release, bless,” I hear again. Forgive the wrongdoer, cancel out the crippling, and bless. Following that, I hear, “double portion” where Increase marries Wisdom, because a greater harvest is looming.
God’s blessings are irrevocable. Even if they fall dormant for a time, they will flourish again and better than imagined. Wherever you are, whoever you are, here’s to new beginnings, fresh seasons, big visions, strong clarity, and abundant joy beginning in the heart and bubbling up out of your mouth. Breathing words that heal and help you walk into the freedom of your greatest dreams fulfilled and hopes restored.
I tire of political ads, speeches, campaigns wherein the focus centers on dissing opponents. Can’t recall when this became customary, but it has always struck me as poor taste. I hate few things. This is one of them. It might be the especially volatile climate of today and weighty bitterness and injustices witnessed cities-wide, a shaking pandemic, or that I’m just getting older and less tolerant of subjecting myself to this much negativity. Because I seem to have developed a recent habit of turning off the radio or television just as soon as a politician begins this focused rant—and it’s usually by the third or fourth word. I know I’m idealistic to a fault, but I just wish I could hear a passionate speech on proposals, personal principles, and persuasive stands with the strength to stand on its own merit without the use of harsh words ripping another by ugly comparisons and throw-downs.
Years ago, I’d served as a ghostwriter for political content. It can be well-paid, eye-opening work, but not for me I finally realized. I just couldn’t stomach it anymore. Am I tainted by the experience? Sure. I’ve had more than my share of exposure to those who like to rule with brutal words and iron fists. But I always end up asking: Do unsavory words for the purpose of propelling an agenda (or for any reason) add virtue or honor? Do they truly enlighten or inform us on the issues at hand?
Yet, instead of growing harder, I seem to be softening under iron fists. I suppose I’m yearning for people, leaders, who dare to operate by a different slogan; one I’m trying--really trying to implement in my own circle: “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” (1 Peter 3:8). While I’m aware we will not all have unity of mind in this lifetime, on this earth, with such a range of discordant issues and beliefs, I think if we practice sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind (that is, putting the welfare of others before our own)—even just one of these—then maybe we’d behave a little better toward one another. Take better care with the words we use for each other, our fellow humans. We might even earn respect. Today, I value kindness to a much greater degree, and I beg, I beg it begins within me.