What I have noticed in walking with clients…
Tears of healing began to roll down my face. I didn’t know what was happening in me at the time, but I found myself in a culture of honour – observing and experiencing men honouring women and vice versa. It was so powerful JUST WITNESSING IT.
I wept deeply… healing much of the diagnosed psychological, emotional, and spiritual abuse I had experienced with certain male leaders in my church that led to my health crash years ago. My doctor ordered me to leave the church leadership situation immediately and my church conference insurance paid me for two years of resting.*
When I left that church environment several years ago, I entered a time of rest and detox.
My time of rest included a visit to a different church – one with a culture of honour. It was there, tears rolled down my face when I saw it was indeed possible for men to honour women in leadership. I sensed Jesus smiling over it all. My heart, my mind, and my spirit began to welcome the healing.
Today! Years later, after some incredible healing rest… I get to walk pastors, ministry leaders, and lay people (both male and female) through healing of unfortunate abusive ‘church’ experiences.
When we try to ‘do’ church led by fear, instead of ‘being’ the church led by Holy Spirit, the damage is painful. When we walk in fear, rather than Christ-like love, we unknowingly or knowingly cause damage.
When a church is led by fear, the fruit is damage.
Thankfully, Jesus loves to restore and heal – revealing to those who are wounded and doing the wounding, that He has so much more!
Men who honour women, and women who honour men – is what Christ calls us to!
Let’s choose to walk in love and honour…
Recently, I was blessed with this…
Honor All People
Hi, this is Bill Vanderbush. I pastor Community Presbyterian Church in Celebration, Florida. I want to talk to you a little bit about honor. When you think of honor, people think about academia, or academic achievement. The honor roll, honors society, or maybe you are one of those people where the closest thing you ever got ot honor was, “Yes, your Honor, no, your Honor.”
I want to define it a little bit differently today. Honor is where you live to make somebody else like a genius. It is where you actually treat somebody as if they were Jesus. You may think, “That sounds kind of blasphemous. I can’t treat anybody like that.” We are all image-bearers. We are all made in the image and likeness of God. I believe God is calling us to be a culture of honor, to release honor everywhere we go.
1 Peter 2:17 says, “Honor all men.” Honor all people, actually it means. That is actually where he stops. He finishes that thought. Honor everybody without reservation. Honor is not to be given as a reward, it is given as a gift. Think of it like this, God doesn’t honor us because we are good. He honors us because He is good. He doesn’t love us because we are good, He loves us because He is good. He releases love, and honor, and grace because that is what He is like. That is what He has called us to do. He has called us to release honor because we are an honorable people.
How do you release honor over somebody that is dishonorable? That might be a difficult thing to do, but the reality is that when you release honor, you are actually digging for the treasure that is inside of a person. You are seeing them from Heaven’s perspective. In Matthew 13, Jesus goes home to His hometown – the Son of God. He tries to perform miracles and people get offended at Him. It says they became intellectually offended at Him. They said, “We know His mom, we know His brothers, we know His sisters.” They said, “How is this guy doing what He is doing?” They became offended at Him. Jesus responds and says, “A prophet is not without honor except in His home country, in His own town.”
I think a lot of times God calls us to begin ministry at home because He wants us to learn to do it without honor. He doesn’t want us to stay in a place of dishonor. The result of that is He could do no mighty work there because of their unbelief. Here is the thing about dishonor. Dishonor shuts down the anointing every time. In 25 years of pastoring, I have never seen a revival birthed in a culture of dishonor. Dishonor often times shows up in the middle of a revival and we wonder why the revival shut down. God is calling us to protect one another, to speak encouragement over one another.
There is a thin line between honor and flattery. We don’t want to get into flattery. Honor is calling out the gold in a person. It is coming into agreement with how God sees a person and shifting our perspective to Heaven’s perspective. Beginning to speak honor over their life. In doing that, we suddenly become a culture where from the outside looking in, there are people who are orphaned in their mind and their heart. They look at the Body of Christ and say, “I want to be loved just like that.” If we grab a hold of the culture of honor like this we would see the nations shaped and changed. In a generation or two there would be people that would once again know that God is to be famous for love.
I pray that you would become a person of honor. You would release honor in your words and your declarations. In everything you do, you would demonstrate the honor of Heaven. From a prophetic standpoint you would put Heaven on display in all that you do. I believe we will see revival breaking out all over our nation. Amen.
Source: God Today – http://www.getgodtoday.com
*My medical team and insurance ordered me to rest for 2 years. My doctor wept when I initially answered her intake questions.
Clearly, I had endured more than I thought.
I had been putting up with abuse, giving grace to the men over and over around their behaviours with women. I had loved my brothers in leadership. Looking back, I saw the potential in the men and kept forgiving them – until it caused my health to crash when I witnessed their treatment of another woman.
Seeing how they treated another woman with public dishonour was a shock to my system; literally.
I was assigned a medical team to interview me. Learning that the behaviour was abusive was a wake up. My brothers had started off so encouraging in the beginning but, over the years, looking back I now see how their fear of man replaced their fear of God and this turned their behaviour into control, manipulation, and abuse of women. The Conference Minister asked what I learned about myself. Apparently, I can endure abuse but when I see other women experience mistreatment, that’s the last straw.
Thankfully, God has a way of turning painful situations into redeeming ones. As mentioned above, having gone through my experience and falling in love with Jesus because He showed me more of who He is outside of the box, I now am a life coach and spiritual director for pastors, ministry leaders and lay people as they walk their way out of church abuse, burnout and depression. God indeed raises the dead! Then, he teaches them to share new life! 😀
How do you know if you’re in a false ‘church’ ?
Today’s lent devotional (below) was extremely timely as I walk several clients through ‘church’ abuse in multiple churches in my area. When churches practice witchcraft – control and manipulation, there is even trauma around reading God’s Word.
Breaks my heart.
Thankfully, Jesus loves to heal! His message to a very religious culture of His day was freedom!
This reminder was good: “…rule of thumb: if someone arrives claiming to be a prophet, but asking for money, they are false. We might expand that into the usual trio: money is so often linked with sex and power.”
Hmmm…basically : “Do as I say… and give me your money.”
I often find myself saying to clients – “What does the fruit tell you? That gives you clues as to the kind of tree.”
My prayer: Jesus, Thank you for freedom through your shed blood on the cross! Pour your Spirit on all churches and burn up what is not of you! Yes & Amen!
Here was the devotional today… (Source at the bottom.)
WEEK 1: WEDNESDAY
One of the great lies of our time is to suppose that because Jesus brings forgiveness, and urges us to be forgiving people, meek and gentle, there is no sharp edge to his message. To hear some people, you’d think the whole of the Christian message was simply a call to accept one another, never to judge another person. Indeed, doesn’t Jesus himself tell us not to judge, at the start of this very chapter (Matthew 7.1)? That verse is quoted again and again by people who would do well to ponder this present passage.
Jesus is quite clear that there are such persons as false prophets, as people who appear to be his followers but who in fact have never known him. Life would be a lot simpler if we could tell at a glance who the true and the false prophets were, but the only guide Jesus offers is the picture of the tree. Sooner or later — and it may be a lot later, or it may happen quite suddenly — the fruit of someone’s life will appear, and then you can tell whether they were real or whether they were fooling themselves and others.
In Jesus’ own day there was no shortage of such people. Jesus spoke more than once about people who would turn up and declare that they were prophesying in his name, or in God’s name, and would lead people astray. The second and third generation of the church faced the same problem, and developed an interesting rule of thumb: if someone arrives claiming to be a prophet, but asking for money, they are false. We might expand that into the usual trio: money is so often linked with sex and power. Some false teachers offer their followers sexual licence in contrast to Jesus’ rigorous standard, as in 5.27—30, 15.19—20 and 19.3—12; part of the lie, today, is that Jesus didn’t mind about such things. Others are eager for personal power, as you can tell when someone challenges them. And, yes, some today are in it for the money.
When Jesus uses the image of the tree, he is drawing, as so often, on an ancient biblical picture. The first Psalm speaks of God’s true people like trees planted by streams of water, which will produce fruit at the right time, while the wicked are like chaff blown around by the wind. Jeremiah develops this picture (17.8), thinking of the tree that sends out its roots to look for the water it needs. Lent is a time when we should be doing that: sending out our roots to look for the water of life. The challenge of these verses isn’t simply one of learning to recognize true Christian teaching from false. The challenge is to become, ourselves, trees that bear good fruit, people who not only say ‘Lord, Lord’ when it suits us, but who apply ourselves to the much harder task of discerning and doing God’s will.
Read this beautiful passage below:
(Interestingly, Jesus gave me this passage over and over on my Sabbatical in 2015 when I was in pastoral ministry.)
Here it is… Matthew 7:15-29
Gracious Lord, draw our roots to yourself, the living water, so that we may grow strong and bear good fruit.
SOURCE: day 8 of the YouVersion plan ‘Lent For Everyone’. https://my.bible.com/reading-plans/83-lent-for-everyone
RELATED POST: Tears of healing began to roll down my face. I didn’t know what was happening in me at the time. I found myself in a culture of honour… https://followingtrusting.com/2019/03/13/a-culture-of-honour-men-and-women/
The following intro from “The Triumphant Church”:
The believer’s inheritance in Christ is the wisdom of God, and it was hidden throughout previous ages until it was revealed through Jesus Christ. Grasping that truth and walking in the reality of God’s inheritance for us as saints is the key to taking our place as the triumphant Church, reigning as kings in this life.
The riches of our inheritance are revealed more fully in the Book of Ephesians than in any other book of the Bible. In Ephesians chapter 1 and 3 are Spirit-inspired prayers, which apply to believers everywhere because they were given by the Holy Spirit to the Body of Christ.
If you are a believer, you can pray these prayers for yourself by putting “I,” “me,” and “my” where Paul says “you” and “your.” (I’ve made these changes for you at the end.)
In these prayers, the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to believers “the spirit of wisdom andrevelation in the knowledge of Jesus” (Eph. 1:17). What is the wisdom and knowledge God wants to reveal to the believer about Jesus Christ?
The Holy Spirit wants the eyes of our understanding opened to understand Jesus’ complete victory over Satan in the triumph of the Cross. He wants us to understand what Jesus’ seating on High really means to the believer. The wisdom and knowledge the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us is the believer’s joint- seating with Christ as a benefit of our redemption. Joint-seating with Christ is a position of authority and triumph over Satan. God wants us to see what we have as rights and privileges by being in Christ.
The Holy Spirit, writing through Paul, wants you as a believer to pray for the eyes of your understanding to be enlightened. The word “enlightened” means illuminatedor flooded with light. Another translation says to pray that the eyes of your heart will be flooded with light.
After praying these prayers for a number of months, one day I was praying at the altar and the Lord spoke to me and said, “I am going to take you on to revelations and visions.” That came as a result of praying these prayers thousands of times for myself. Revelation from the Word of God began to come to me and kept on coming. I am talking about revelations in line with the Word.
Finally, I said, “What in the world have I been preaching!” I had been in the ministry fourteen years, but in six months of praying these prayers for myself, I received so much revelation from the Word of God that it seemed like I was a brand-new person.
That’s what Ephesians 1 is talking about—insight into the knowledge of Jesus and understanding of the knowledge of His Word.
Believers have been ignorant of Satan’s devices, so he has been able to take advantage of them. But the Spirit of God wants believers to get the wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Jesus and His Word so the eyes of their understanding will be enlightened to know their authority in Christ.
God wants believers to know they are no longer subject to Satan because they have been delivered from his dominion and authority (Col. 1:13). God wants the Body of Christ to know that we aren’t a defeated Church—we are a triumphant Church.We are to reign in life through Jesus Christ because we have a position of authority over the devil. When the eyes of our understanding are enlightened, we can stand in our place of authority as the triumphant Church upon the earth.
Remember: If you are a believer, you can pray these prayers for yourself by putting “I,” “me,” and “my” where Paul says “you” and “your.” (I’ve made these changes for you below.)
My prayer for Divine wisdom and revelation
Ephesians 1:16-23 (TPT)
17 I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to me the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation[b] to know him through my deepening intimacy with him.
18 I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of my imagination,[c] flooding me with light, until I experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling[d]—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones!
19 I pray that I will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to me through faith. Then my life will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through me! This is the mighty power 20 that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him[e] to the place of highest honor and supreme authority[f] in the heavenly realm! 21 And now he is exalted as first above every ruler, authority, government, and realm of power in existence! He is gloriously enthroned over every name that is ever praised,[g]not only in this age,[h] but in the age that is coming![i]
22 And he alone is the leader and source of everything needed in the church. God has put everything beneath the authority of Jesus Christ[j] and has given him the highest rank above all others. 23 And now we, his church, are his body on the earth and that which fills him who is being filled by it![k]
2. My prayer for Love to Overflow
Ephesians 3:14-21 (TPT)
14 So, I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child[a] in heaven and on the earth. 16 And I pray that he would unveil within me the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods my innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.
17 Then, by constantly using my faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside me, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of my life.
18–19 Then I will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude[b] of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into meuntil I amfilled to overflowing with the fullness of God!
20 I will never doubt God’s mighty power to work in me and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than my greatest request, my most unbelievable dream, and exceed my wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes me.
21 Now I offer up to God all the glorious praise that rises from every church in every generation through Jesus Christ—and all that will yet be manifest through time and eternity. Amen!
This is from Brennan Manning’s book Lion and Lamb: the Relentless Tenderness of Jesus. (As read in class by Murray Dueck of Samuel’s Mantle)
There are two visions of life, two kinds of people. The first see life as a possession to be carefully guarded. They are called settlers. The second see life as a wild, fantastic, explosive gift. They are called pioneers.
These two types give rise to two kinds of theology: Settler Theology and Pioneer Theology. According to Wes Seeliger in his book, Western Theology, the first kind, Settler Theology, is an attempt to answer all the questions, define and housebreak some sort of Supreme Being, establish the status quo on golden tablets in cinemascope. Pioneer Theology is an attempt to talk about what it means to receive the strange gift of life. The Wild West is the setting for both theologies.
In Settler Theology, the church is the courthouse. It is the center of town life. The old stone structure dominates the town square. Its windows are small and this makes things dark inside. Within the courthouse walls, records are kept, taxes collected, trials held for bad guys. The courthouse is the settler’s symbol of law, order, stability, and—most importantly—security. The mayor’s office is on the top floor. His eagle eye ferrets out the smallest details of town life.
In Pioneer Theology, the church is the covered wagon. It’s a house on wheels, always on the move. The covered wagon is where the pioneers eat, sleep, fight, love and die. It bears the marks of life and movement—it creaks, is scarred with arrows, bandaged with baling wire. The covered wagon is always where the action is. It moves toward the future and doesn’t bother to glorify its own ruts. The old wagon isn’t comfortable, but the pioneers don’t mind. They are more into adventure than comfort.
In Settler Theology, God is the mayor. He is a sight to behold. Dressed like a dude from back East, he lounges in an over-stuffed chair in his courthouse office. He keeps the blinds drawn. No one sees him or knows him directly, but since there is order in town, who can deny that he is there? The mayor is predictable and always on schedule. The settlers fear the mayor, but look to him to clear the payroll and keep things going. Peace and quiet are the mayor’s main concerns. That’s why he sends the sheriff to check on the pioneers who ride into town.
In Pioneer Theology, God is the trail boss. He is rough and rugged, full of life. He chews tobacco, drinks straight whiskey. The trail boss lives, eats, sleeps, fights with his people. Their sell-being is his concern. Without him the wagon wouldn’t move; living as a free man would be impossible. The trail boss often gets down in the mud with the pioneers to help push the wagon, which often gets stuck. He prods the pioneers when they get soft and want to turn back. His fist is an expression of his concern.
In Settler Theology, Jesus is the sheriff. He’s the guy who is sent by the mayor to enforce the rules. He wears a white hat, drinks milk, outdraws the bad guys. The sheriff decides who is thrown into jail. There is a saying in town that goes: those who believe the mayor sent the sheriff, and follow the rules, they won’t stay in Boothill when it comes their time.
In Pioneer Theology, Jesus is the scout. He rides out ahead to find our which way the pioneers should go. He lives all the dangers of the trail. The scout suffers every hardship, is attacked by the Indians. Through his words and actions he reveals the true intentions of the trail boss. By looking at the scout, those on the trail learn what it means to be a pioneer.
In Settler Theology, the Holy Spirit is the saloon girl. Her job is to comfort the settlers. They come to her when they feel lonely, or when life gets dull or dangerous. She tickles them under the chin and makes everything okay again. The saloon girl squeals to the sheriff when someone starts disturbing the peace.
In Pioneer Theology, the Holy Spirit is the buffalo hunter. He rides along with the covered wagon and furnishes fresh meat for the pioneers. Without it they would die. The buffalo hunter is a strange character—sort of a wild man. The pioneers can never tell what he will do next.
He scares the hell out of the settlers. He has a big black gun that goes off like a cannon. He rides into town on Sunday to shake up the settlers. You see, every Sunday morning, the settlers have a little ice cream party in the courthouse. With his gun in hand the buffalo hunter sneaks up to one of the courthouse windows. He fires a tremendous blast that rattles the whole courthouse. Men jump out of their skin, women scream, dogs bark. Chuckling to himself, the buffalo hunter rides back to the wagon train shooting up the town as he goes.
In Settler Theology, the Christian is the settler. He fears the open, unknown frontier. His concern is to stay on good terms with the mayor and keep out of the sheriff’s way. “Safety first” is his motto. To him the courthouse is a symbol of security, peace, order, and happiness. He keeps his money in the bank. The banker is his best friend. The settler never misses an ice cream party.
In Pioneer Theology, the Christian is the pioneer. He is a man of daring, hungry for a new life. He rides hard, knows how to use a gun when necessary. The pioneer feels sorry for the settlers and tries to tell them of the joy and fulfillment of life on the trail. He dies with his boots on.
In Settler Theology, the clergyman is the banker. Within his vault are locked the values of the town. He is a highly respected man. He has a gun, but keeps it hidden in his desk. He feels that he and the sheriff have a lot in common. After all, they both protect the bank.
In Pioneer Theology, the clergyman is the cook. He doesn’t furnish the meat. He just dishes up what the buffalo hunter provides. This is how he supports the movement of the wagon. He never confuses his job with that of the trail boss, scout, or the buffalo hunter. He sees himself as just another pioneer who has learned how to cook. The cook’s job is to help the pioneers pioneer.
In Settler Theology, faith is trusting in the safety of the town: obeying the laws, keeping your nose clean, believing the mayor is in the courthouse.
In Pioneer Theology, faith is the spirit of adventure: the readiness to move out, to risk everything on the trail. Faith is obedience to the restless voice of the trail boss.
In Settler Theology, sin is breaking one of the town’s ordinances.
In Pioneer Theology, sin is wanting to turn back.
In Settler Theology, salvation is living close to home and hanging around the courthouse.
In Pioneer Theology, salvation is being more afraid of sterile town life than death on the trail. Salvation is joy at the thought of another day to push on into the unknown. It is trusting the trail boss and following his scout while living on the meat furnished by the buffalo hunter.
However, this image below is key…
“Some people want to be slaves…”
…and what it means if we are not yet experiencing freedom…!
(Read the whole page below…)
—Lion and Lamb: the Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, Brennan Manning, Chapter 3, Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, NJ, 1986.3
Francis Chan – Letters to the Church ( #paradigmshift )
A few quotes from Francis Chan that will get you thinking…!
“God designed the Church to be much more than what the majority of us experience in America. There are many of us who believe this and want change. The good news is that God wants this change even more than we do.
The early church didn’t need the energetic music, great videos, attractive leaders, or elaborate lighting to be excited about being a part of God’s body. The pure gospel was enough to put them in a place of awe.
If you think that sitting back and letting the church staff feed you will bring you the most fulfillment, you are so wrong. God promised that those who give will be most blessed (Acts 20:35).
When the Bible describes the power available to you, doesn’t it sound like hyperbole? It seems so extreme, yet we see so little of this in our own lives and in the Church. The discrepancy could challenge your faith in the Scriptures—how can the Bible promise things we never experience in real life? But are you willing to consider that the Bible is accurate and the Church has domesticated us to the point where we doubt our power?
Church, the answer is not to build bigger and nicer cages. Nor is it to renovate the cages so they look more like the wild. It’s time to open the cages, remind the animals of their God-given instincts and capabilities, and release them into the wild.
Alan Hirsch said, “In so many churches the mission of the church has actually become the maintenance of the institution itself.”
It’s time to train people to live in the wild again.
There are elements of modern churches that on the surface seem like good ideas, but they can actually keep us from the biblical vision of unity, true fellowship, mutual love, and pursuit of the mission. Too many look at these elements and insist you can’t have a church without them.
I believe God is leading a movement in this country toward simple, smaller gatherings, and I long to see this movement gain greater traction. I get so excited when I dream about the Church spreading in small, invigorating expressions that look and feel like the early church. My goal is to get you dreaming about this as well.
My hope is simply to convince you that there are compelling ways of living as the Church that look nothing like our traditional models. My goal is to get you dreaming, to keep you from settling, to affirm that nagging sense you can’t shake that God wants something more for His Church than what you’re experiencing.”
I recently asked Jesus this question: “What does freedom look like?”
He immediately brought to mind the picture of the Israelites walking through the Red Sea escaping slavery… BUT … NOT grumbling and complaining in the wilderness wanting to go back to slavery …which, sadly, is what the Israelites did …and as a result died in the wilderness, not entering the promised land. It was only the next generation who were allowed to enter the Promised Land.
Today, I reflect on this promise: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:17
And I read this from Nicky Gumbel…from his ‘Bible in One Year’ readings…
Love and unity go hand in hand. The Tower of Babel is the symbol of disunity (Genesis 11:1–9). The people said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves’ (v.4). This act of pride and power-seeking led to disunity, symbolised in the confusion of different languages in the world. ‘The Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth’ (v.9).
The day of Pentecost was the reversal of Babel. The Holy Spirit enables people to say: ‘each of us hears them [speaking] in our native language’ (Acts 2:8). The gift of tongues symbolises the fact that the Holy Spirit reverses the disunity of Babel and unites all peoples and languages.
This is a common experience today as we see the Holy Spirit bringing love and unity across churches, languages and nations.
Lord, may we never seek to make a name for ourselves or our own church, denomination or movement. Rather, may we seek to glorify your name. Pour out your Spirit, O Lord, on the church as on the day of Pentecost. May there be a reversal of Babel. May there be an end to disunity. May your Spirit and the values of the kingdom of God bring love, joy, peace, true happiness and unity.
As I continue to reflect on …what God is calling us to BE as the church …building God’s kingdom, rather than our own little kingdoms, this rings so beautifully.
Questions to Reflect on:
Where have we been trying to make a name for ourselves? (Rather than lifting up the name of Jesus?)
Where have we settled, perhaps becoming complacent, becoming stuck in ruts?
Where have we been looking backwards to the past?
Have we perhaps been controlling or manipulating a ‘move of God’ without asking for more of Holy Spirit?
Are we open to God moving outside the box in the future, no matter what He brings?
Ask the Lord, “What do you have next?”
Invite Holy Spirit to fall on your family, your friendships, your gatherings and be ready for anything that looks different than what you’re used to.
Be prepared to fast and pray for days… God longs to invite us into friendship with Him rather than just giving us marching orders.
Did you know that in world history, all the Revivals look differently? They each look like Jesus but not like each other. People may reject Jesus’ move of Holy Spirit when He doesn’t fit their box. Let us not be people who reject God’s Spirit because He doesn’t fit our traditions.
“Holy Spirit lead us to be ready for each new day of what you are doing. Thank you for your move in the past, but let us not settle and build our own little kingdoms around your movements. Let us instead, build your Kingdom by following your every move! Yes & Amen! 💗🙌
Quote Source: https://www.bibleinoneyear.org/bioy/commentary/3171
What does it cost for new wine and new wine skins?
I’ve enjoyed reading Craig’s words on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daily.prophetic/
and on Twitter…
Francis Chan, former megachurch pastor, shares from his heart why the megachurch can’t be the goal of the future.
Locating God’s presence this past year.
(The Grand Prayer of Examen)
- Look Back
– Look over the past 6 – 12 months.
– Where has the Lord been present and at work in my life?
– What significant changes have come my way?
– When have I been the most stressed? the most blessed, and full of joy?
– What can I give thanks to God for?
– Where have I been?
– Where am I now?
- Look through
– Identify any patterns, connections or themes that have characterized the past 6-12 months.
– If you can, summarize the past year in a sentence or two.
– Do you notice anything or patterns? specific thought patterns or emotions?
– Ask the Lord about these patterns. How do they line up with the fruit of Holy Spirit?
- Look forward
– Where do you sense God leading you forward?
– What do you sense your spirit needs in this season?
– What are your hopes and dreams for this coming year? Ask the Lord what His hopes and dream are for you!
– Paint a picture of what you envision over the next six months.
– What are you asking the Lord for in the new year? for your community, your family?
- Look around
– What does your community need? How can you pray for them, help them?
– Consider a prayer walk through your neighbourhood to help you see.
– Who are the people you can intentionally walk with?
– What community support do you need in this season of your life?
– Who are the people you need to invite to walk alongside you?
– Who are the people you can intentionally walk with?
– How can others best support you?
God, still my heart and mind.
I am silent in your presence.
You are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are fully here with me.
Father, I look back on my year.
Thank you for… (list off people, provision…)
God, help me to see where you were present and working in and around me…
…I bend my heart to you. Show me where I need to ask for your forgiveness and receive your grace. (If He brings things to mind, take time to do so.)
In humility, and renewed vision, faith and courage, I look toward the new year coming. I commit what I know and not know to you Lord. I ask for your discernment. Help me through your Holy Spirit to know you more deeply, to better love, serve, and lead others with your guidance and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scriptures for Reflection:
Psalm 103:2-5 (NLT)
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
Psalm 139:1-7 (NLT)
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
Psalm 51:10-12 (NLT)
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit[a] from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
I bless you with a new year of greater intimacy with your loving Heavenly Father, rich in Holy Spirit fruit, in the name of Christ Jesus! Amen!
The Prayer Of Examen, Ignatian Spirituality
The Psalms, NLT
The Grand Examen – Locating God’s Presence in 2017 : New Life Fellowship Church – New York