Prophetic Painting

I have actually been doing “prophetic art” for years without realizing it.  God will speak in my heart, “Draw what you see.” and when the picture is done, He will speak to me through the art I just made.  The process is like prayer, and the final product speaks something in God’s heart that I need to know.  The last several weeks God has been speaking to me through color and texture.  I will try to get a better picture for the February Scrapbook, but I thought I would post the one I made tonight.  I called the file name “fire cocoon”.  🙂  I could tell you what it means, but it’s way more fun to hear what everyone else says first.

Delight

I would like to take a moment and clarify some things from last weeks post.

I still work for YWAM.  I have made a two year commitment here, and they have made a two year commitment to me. 

Stepping down from the DTS was in no way disciplinary.  Stephanie, the school leader, sat down with me and through tears said, basically, “What God is doing in your life is more important than my ministry.  I want you to take a break and focus on Him.”  It goes down in history as one of the singularly most loving moments of my life, as Stephanie and the rest of the staff had to step up in the places where I had been serving.  They laid down their lives for me, which the Bible tells us is the test of love, that you would lay down your life for your friends.

If I am slightly vague about what God is doing in my life, it is because I don’t really understand.  I posted a few of the themes that come up repetitively, consistently, across lots of different groups of friends.  It’s okay not to understand completely.  Part of the reason I don’t understand is because He is doing in me something I have not seen, heard, or imagined, and this is good.

When I’m not being swept off my feet by a passionate loving God who wants all of me, I am working (with Him) on my other base ministries. 

  • Staff Development  This is basically “continuing education” for the staff on the base here.  You can see why, since these people have sacrificed so that I can seek the Lord on a deeper level, I would want to sow back into them by arranging speakers, finding sermons, and arranging workshops so that they too can grow in the Lord.I am facilitator. 
  •  House Representative This is a new role for me, but we all take turns.  Remember that the governing structure of our base is a flat leadership structure.  Well, instead of trying to get 13 people together once a week, we have a meeting as a house, and then the house representative goes to meet with the other house representatives at the Operations Meeting.  Confused?  Draw yourself a diagram.  It will make more sense.  Anyway, being the House Rep helps me understand the process better…and believe me…I have lots of questions.
  • In-reach Since we just moved into this house last November, it has taken a lot of work to get our in-reach going.  We have taken time to pray, and currently we are inviting individual families over.  When I was working the DTS, it was almost impossible to devote any time to in-reach.  Now that I have had a couple weeks to process, my ideas and excitement is building.

I’m sure I will do more as time goes on, but at the moment, since my assignment is to “be still”, I am trying to be faithful to that.

Thank you for praying for me this week.  It was a hard week, but it has ended extremely well.  Thursday I got to talk to several lovely people, and today, Saturday, I spent at a prophetic painting workshop hosted by Oasis Church.  I really love the Holy Spirit. 

Doing a New Thing

This may come as a surprise to many of you, but I will do my best to explain and am confident that the Holy Spirit within you will help you to interpret and understand this new thing.  I have been released from staffing the DTS.  As much as I adore the students and working with them, as determined as I was to make the DTS kitchen an offering to God for His glory, as excited as I am about discipling the people who will bring God’s justice to the nations, the things that I have been doing have been in conflict with the things God wants to do in me.  So, in obedience to my leaders and the Lord who love me deeply, I have stepped down from staffing the school.

Several words have been spoken over this season…which is to say that as I and my friends from all different places pray for me, the same themes keep coming up.  I would like to share with you some of these themes so that you can pray into them, speak into them, and celebrate with me the sacred honor I am being given.

  • Urgency– God is jealous for me, and His intensity toward me seems apparent to all the people around me (this is the part which I, quite frankly, don’t yet comprehend).
  • Inner healing– I am being given a vision for the healing God wants to do in my life that is different from anything I have experienced before.  The model I have always known is to go back to a painful memory and have God touch that pain.  This is a long process, especially for survivors of extreme trauma (to whom I am called) and I (and many others) have been praying for a faster way.  As always, God likes to train me through my own experience.  He will do in me first what He wants to do through me.  I’ll share more as I understand. 
  • Peace– I have asked specifically for authority over the things (of the world, flesh, and demonic) which come against people’s minds.  Of course that authority is the peace of Christ which guards our hearts and minds.  Peace is, overwhelmingly, the word I hear most often when people pray.  It is a difficult process, because in order to experience true peace, God must first disarm all my defenses and efforts at false peace.  Ugh.  I have experienced bits of the peace He is bringing me into (Glory be to Jesus) but at the moment, the process does not feel like peace at all. 
  • Receive– This is the word I hear most in my own prayers, and it is, for me, the most difficult part.  God has brought it to my attention that since I was a little girl I have been giving (and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and…). Now I come with empty, open hands.  It is a daily…sometimes hourly… discipline.

Practically speaking, my tasks on base have shifted significantly.  Our guidance committee met with me this week and will continue to meet with me, helping me navigate this season.  I am dedicating time to receive from the Lord.  The base guidance committee has encouraged me to focus on raising support, which is a huge blessing because I will get to spend time connecting with the people I love; I also need to make sure my financial needs are getting met.  I will still facilitate the staff development department, which brings me great joy; I have other tasks which help me continue in orienting to the base and YWAM as an organization.  I am no longer staffing the DTS outreach to Nigeria, which means we are back to the drawing board on my new staff outreach.  I will bring this up in my next meeting with the guidance committee.

I have grown tremendously in the week since this decision was made.  The month and a half of staffing the DTS was joyous and difficult, and I feel like I am enjoying the fruit of submitting to God in both the joys and difficulties.  I believe the Spirit is telling me that I am to enjoy the fruit of my hands in this season, the fruit of years of loving and serving the Lord, and that from this fruit we will plant a vineyard.  The ending of the 1995 moving French Kiss has been haunting me since I got to California.  The character Kate is more like me than any other character I have seen in any other movie.  The entire movie is available on YouTube…click here to spoil the entire movie and see the ending.  The cute one with the blond hair is me.  Kevin Kline will be playing the lover, who for me is the God who Knows Me, is jealous for me, and longs to have me as His bride.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’
And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.  I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. 
And you shall know the Lord.  
-Hosea 2:14-16, 19-20
I will restore her vineyards, and she will know that she is my bride, not my servant.
Prophetic word spoken over the group I was gathered with last night

Images from Silence and Solitude

I took these pictures during our base silence and solitude time on Tuesday.  God was speaking to me about growing things…how silly climbing roses look with nothing to climb, but how much work it takes a gardener to train them along the fence.  I really love the pictures of the thorns.  They are so crazy and wild, all different sizes of thorns covering the branches.  I can’t so much explain it; I just love it.  Even the shattered rose hips, swollen with seed, everything about the wildness of a growing thing…the messy-ness of it all.

Messy.  Healing is messy.  So is love.  Beauty is messy.  So are most artistic things.  I’m okay with messy…and that is a gift.  So many Christians are not okay with messy.  We want things to fit neatly into the little boxes.  Of course, that is because we do not see as the Gardener sees.  God is the Bride-groom…the ultimate Husband.  Husband comes from the word husbandry, which means to garden.  So He tends to us in winter, spring, and harvest…growing things with a structure and order we do not understand.

Stroopwaffles and Discernment

Welp, the title pretty much says it all.  I have stroopwaffles…the lovely Jael, our emissary from Holland, gifted me them from her birthday care package (her birthday was Friday)!  Glory be to Jesus.

And I am currently discerning God’s heart on a new opportunity that has come my way.  Please pray for wisdom and…you guessed it…discernment.

And just because I love you, a passage from Colossians:

For in [Christ] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him who is the head of all rule and authority. (2:9-10)

Isn’t that amazing?!?!!?

I lead my first department meeting this week!  I am head of the staff development ministry, and we had our first meeting.  It was short and productive.  ðŸ™‚ Hurrah!

Below, as promised, the Loren Cunningham talk on Nigeria.  I heard him in Kansas City this last December…you will want to fast forward to 1:58…unless, of course, you want to experience the amazing IHOP worship and Mark Anderson’s talk.

Beth

http://cmp.ihop.tv/pdk/4.1/swf/flvPlayer.swf