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.
Have you noticed how many people, especially aging people, like to talk about their aches, pains and physical problems? Sometimes there’s even a little pride like comparing heroic war wounds or something: “You think that’s bad? Well, get a load of this,” kind of exchange, as a person proceeds to pull up a pant leg and roll down a sock for the big reveal. As I age, the more I hear such things, have taken part of such things, and yet depart from these discussions less cheerfully. If you haven’t known an individual, or clusters of acquaintances complaining about health issues, you’ll most likely see plenty of posts and pictures on social media. There’s also the constant campaign of ads and commercials on medications. I think it’s safe to say there’s brokenness in our society over health, but the overwhelming need to chew over conditions without end can be equally draining.
I’m not referring to the serious diseases and terminal illnesses, afflictions and real medical emergencies that require our understanding and compassion, and that can also expand our testimonies. I mean the day-to-day discussions that seem to vie for center stage when they don’t need to and probably shouldn’t. Maybe it’s not you doing the talking, but you’d lived with a hypochondriac, or worked with a malingerer, for years; that can be its own sort of burden. The negative concentration after a great length of time can be a real drag, when everything about a person, or that comes out of their mouth, is about their ailments, mild, moderate, or imaginary. It's like a verbal mountain of affliction, and you’re caught on its strange and precarious ledge between feeling numb and hypersensitive. Whether it’s you or someone else, aside from trying to fix sincere problems or addressing them with prayer, dwelling on them can be a thought ravager and praise stealer.
God is a healer and restorer. He also desires our focus and attention. I’m not in denial that with aging comes decaying; this curse came with the Fall, our own undoing, that we all must endure. But it’s come to the forefront of how much I don’t want to focus on the process of pains but on praise. A small example would be if someone asked me how my day was going, and I answered, “Well, I got this pain in my hip, and when I move my wrist this way it pops, and I didn’t sleep very well last night…” and then junk is on the table. I don’t want to behave that way. Even if I’m hurting, I want to suck it up, work through it if I can, and not spread the psychological residue, the “crown” of physical discomfort. Instead, have an answer ready on my lips, “My day is good because God is good all the time. Praise the Lord. How are YOU?” Or “I’m still kickin’, thank the Lord–and thanks for asking! How’s YOUR day going?” I don’t want to whittle an opportunity to brighten someone else’s day by dwelling on problems, especially my problems. And if I need prayer, then why not just ask for it, then move on with thankfulness? Some days, I have a spring in my step. Some days, eh, not so much. I am learning the fine line between when to ask for (or offer) prayer and keep quiet being careful not to complain.
So when I’ve caught myself lately near joining the valetudinarian collective (such as beginning my last blog by explaining my recent bouts, and longing for my slipped youth), I hear the Lord say, “Stop. In your weakness, I am made strong,” with emphasis on WHO is made strong. The next time I’m feeling blue about getting older and dealing with aged issues (could be again tomorrow!)—the magic word, “Stop,” is followed by “Praise you, Lord. Prepare me for the best years of my life!” And also, to take special care to reporting glorious healings and answered prayers!
If you are upwards of age 50, I hope you embrace words of praise over pain. It’s okay to ask for prayer; we’re supposed to support each other and give good ear to listen with compassion and kindness. Give and receive. But at certain points, we might do well to fine-tune our focus, redirecting our thoughts from our bodies to Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who Heals. This is one I’ve heard a thousand times, but it never gets old: let go and let God. From the heart, out of the mouth, may we strive to put the Lord first in all things and linger there.
And this concludes my two- day/blog posts on age and body. I’m moving on.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance and my God.”–Psalm 42:11
In hindsight, last year gave us the means to sharpen our vision for the future, to balance what is important, and find a better way to manage and appreciate life. The means to seek a clearer vision according to God’s perfect vision for us (his will, not ours) and be grateful for each day we have despite what storms around us.
We’ve been rocked—and not in a good way—by the pandemic and politics. We can’t help these things… or… can we? To some extent, we can. It’s our responses to these things that make the difference. I’m fond of the phrase, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Here’s another by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What you do speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say.” Our behavior should correspond with the root of our beliefs. So now, I’d like to address some of my fellow believers in Jesus.
Call this a heart’s cry, but I’m crushed by what I see. Most disheartening, the attitude and angry speech from quite a few of my Christian peers who are spouting steam worse than an old locomotive. How persuasive is the demonstration of anger and the spirit of hate, which is contrary to God’s spirit, when the entire world rolls in hate-hysteria? Where’s the differentiation? Where’s the hope and encouragement? What difference does political affiliation make in loving your neighbor? Some of us have lost sight, are losing sight. If there was, God forbid, a massive earthquake in your neighborhood and people were trapped under rubble, would you reach in there and offer a helping hand or would you stand by and say, “What’s your affiliation? Because I’m only helping you if it lines up with mine.”
If you’re one of those screaming about injustice, remember that Jesus, the one in whom you believe, suffered the greatest injustice of all. Yet, he went as a lamb to the slaughter--as a lamb—for the sake of us all; not a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s coming back as a lion, but that time hasn’t come yet—and it’s his right to roar when it does. In the meantime, by his grace we’re commissioned to be examples of light, salts of the earth, human versions of God’s steadfast love. Instead, social media, especially, reeks of an old famous bar where everybody knows your name and has to prove a point, prove a point, prove a point! It’s a frenzy; it’s an addiction. Easy to get caught up in—but where is the higher standard if we do as the world does? Where are the lambs?
I hope that instead of heated tongue-wagging, name-calling, and other adverse reactions, we can create an element of infectious peace—even, and especially, if we don’t agree with the climate. If you think I’m saying that we need to strive much harder to live and lead by Jesus’ example, then you are absolutely right—and I’m speaking to myself first.
Finally, if the present affairs are just too ugly and you feel like a loner going against the whitewater current of popular hysteria, then find a nice quiet place to pray. Because in the Lord’s presence is peace. There, we can find the strength to hold higher, a shield of honor, emblazoned with the blood of Jesus, this scripture:
“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” — Colossians 3:12-14
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.
Someone told me I needed to get more well-grounded in the South. I couldn’t disagree and I’m always up for discovery. What will bring it about at a greater degree for me is music, followed by cuisine because I really like food. Borrowing a musical library I went on a binging diet of bluegrass-folk-country-Americana and the various sounds of Appalachia. My favorite so far: The Civil Wars. This duo has so much chemistry and soulfulness between them. I was also able to watch their “Bluegrass Underground”concert held in a cave at the Cumberland Caverns not far from where I live (how did I not know about this place???).
I then went on a hunt for the best fried green tomatoes. And just when I thought I found them I discovered another place that serves them up so very well, *Jacque’s Whistle Stop Café in Friendsville, TN - a small, eclectic eatery full of antiques and unique memorabilia. This exploration has been fun, interesting, delish!—and I’m still savoring the haunting sounds of The Civil Wars.
*I was sad to learn on my last visit to Jacque's that the café is no longer in business. : (