Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Barb had her gallbladder out December 1st and while in there they found gall stone blockage further 'downstream', which required a transfer to the main hospital and another procedure the next day. But she is up and around now and doing well. She has a few more tests in January for some other things, and I have my Afib/cardio consultation January 9 followed within the month by the ablation procedure on my quivering nerve in my upper left heart, but everything in its time.
It has been rather weird for us to be so focused on ourselves the past few months, no long trips, limited Skype and phone calls, limited involvement with our Tulsa core - but needful for health’s sake, not only ours, but some issues with Chris and his health, and the group home. We look forward to the turn of the year and getting more active along with the many trips on the calendar.
Many will recall how the Father told me earlier this year "2017 will be a difficult time for the world" and other things related to the time after the current US President leaves office. Last month you'll recall the vision I shared of the 2 layers of clouds, separate, each layer representing the efforts and focus each has.
If you think that through, it becomes clear the lower cloud level which the Father tied to the soon to be former President's efforts to change everything from voting district boundaries to culture in the big cities and streets, and the upper level being the new President's administration - it becomes clear there will continue to be 2 streams in the US, the 'discussion' about the level of involvement the federal government should have in the lives of its citizens, and to what degree the federal government adheres to the US Constitution. It is a matter of prayer, but the 2 streams that will continue are clearly seen in that vision I've shared about.
You'll also remember that I was flying in between the cloud layers, not touching either. I took it to mean I was representing the larger body of Christ in doing so, showing me there will be a time of protection flying between the layers as we weren't the focus of either layer, and I take comfort in that. He (Father) told me at the time of the top layer; "They will be focused on things which will require their full attention" and of the lower layer, "They are looking down, not up, and will try to affect you (Christians) indirectly - but they will not now succeed." That left me wondering...not now...
One of the things the Lord told me recently
The words He used carry meaning and spiritual baggage for many, so I need to establish the context because what some might think He was talking about isn't at all what He was saying. Just this past week He told me (the Lord, not the Father) we will see the rise of people talking about 'kingdom culture', but His part of it is in a balanced way, though many would veer out of balance with it.
He then started to explain what it was not, saying I would hear of little sects and ministries here and there, and larger groups claiming to be kingdom culture, but they are off balance. It is rare for Him to make blanket statements, so I asked for more detail. He said, "It is their movement, not something I'm doing on a larger scale, but still, I will do what I can within many of them according to the knowledge they have. If they have to advertise as their main point that they are kingdom culture, they aren't. Kingdom culture is who you are, in your spirit, and in your relationships, ever growing and maturing in Me."
To Him, kingdom culture involves the core elements we see from the Garden of Eden through the New Testament - family and relationship based faith that is focused on living godly and holy lives. When I asked for chapter and verse He said: "Sure. II Timothy 1:9."The Father has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our efforts, but according to His purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal."
He continued: "The Father has saved you and called you with a holy calling. Many who believe have turned aside from this, being self deceived, thinking they can live however they wish, their lusts finding justification they think, in Me." (He was clearly angry at this, His emotion and appearance in His face proving it to the point I was a bit nervous as He spoke, for it reminded me of His instructions and warnings to the 7 churches in The Revelation chapters 2 & 3.)
"Kingdom culture in your world includes all that I hold dear - the fruit of the Spirit, the strong and godly character found in my true disciples - THAT is what I am doing, though many will touch only elements and certain aspects and run with it, saying 'We are kingdom culture!' From such turn away, for again I say to you, if they have to announce it in a way to let all know that is their main emphasis, they are not living it, but only have part of it right. Balance son, always balance."
Those were some pretty cautionary words and there were more things as well; He talked about how things we call moves of God come and go with the seasons, but He said 2017 will see more unity in the body of Christ where it counts. He told me of some notable people who would die in the coming weeks and months and said to observe the reactions of people. He said His timing is such that as leaders from a past generation die the level of dependence people had on them is revealed, forcing His people to either fall away or focus on Him within. That was one of the most significant points of this visitation - not just Him growing His kingdom within true disciples (and the difference becoming more apparent between true disciples and those who are believers in name only, but His perspective that as leaders die it forces believers to turn inward to Him and them, not Him and that leader's body of work and them. I'll share more at a later time, but for me, I like to digest the visitations I have with Him, and let His words echo around my being awhile...I think you know how that is, like savoring a great taste or aroma.
Jesus is comfortable in any culture, because He is a culture within Himself - and we can be like that too
If you look at the Lord Jesus you see He was comfortable in whatever culture He found Himself. When He was casting Legion out of the Greek man in the 10 Greek cities called ‘Decapolis’* He was just as at ease as He was in Jerusalem. (*Mk 5:20) When He was talking to the Roman Centurion in Matthew 8 He was just as comfortable talking to the Pharisees. Jesus was comfortable in whatever culture and surrounding He was, because He was secure in Himself.
When Christ is in us we can also be comfortable in whatever culture we find ourselves –from the home of an unbeliever to an auditorium church to someone’s living room – if we focus on Christ in us and His ease.
That the Lord Jesus was willing to come to earth, let alone be born in a stable, shows us He is comfortable in any culture – from a stable in Bethlehem to our own hearts.
Translators needed! We are still looking for people to translate my Weekly Thoughts and e-newsletters into Finnish, German, and other languages - even if you aren't able to do it on a weekly basis, consider 2x per month on the Weekly Thoughts - thank you! Contact Wil and Ank at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Wil and Ank - they had an accident that totaled their car as it was an older model so it didn't take much to render it un-fixable! lol. But...their desire is to buy a good used car outright to replace it and we are asking for help in that. Barb and I have contributed as well as CWOWI, and are opening it to others who want to help. They travel all over the Netherlands in the work of the Lord, as well as use it for work and such, so the need is genuine and urgent. If you would like you can contribute through the EU web site or our US site, cwowi.org, or if in the US you can also mail a contribution - just mark 'for Wil' and we'll make sure it gets to them.
May we continue to grow in Jesus’ culture however, focusing not so much on what He can do for us, but how we might be conformed to His image and His ‘culture’. Kingdom culture. Thank you for your giving and prayers. Blessings and much love!
John & Barb