It has been seven months since this prophecy was given, and I previously recorded my cursory recollection and the significance of these words here, but I just received the audio and wanted to transcribe it verbatim for remembrance. These words were spoken to me by a total stranger.
I see you standing before a large tree with many leaves, with the branches hanging down low. And I see you coming to this tree, and I see the tree has had the buds, and it’s had everything that would look like “this is the year.” And then I see you going through a year saying I’m not sure why the fruit never did come then. And then I see you going back again and looking at it again and expecting, because everything looked right. The tree looked healthy, the tree looked like it was ready to produce, but still there was no fruit, the fruit that you were looking for.
And the Lord is just saying to you that this is the time that you will begin to produce the fruit that you’ve been waiting for, that you’ve been looking for. And where you’ve known seasons of disappointment, it’s not because of anything that you’ve done wrong, it’s not because of anything that’s happened to you or anything anybody else did to you. It’s just because of the season, the timing of the Lord.
But now’s the time where you will produce that which is in your heart. God’s put some big dreams inside of you and He’s just written them in you. He wrote them in you from an early – from your early teens, or even pre-teens – where God began to put some dreams inside you. And now He’s started to bring those to life in you. They’re not impossible. They’re not too difficult.
You’ve had the structure in place for it to happen. You’ve had a healthy tree. But now’s the time for the fruit to begin to come forth, and the branches that have hung down will begin to stand up straight. So new life is flowing to you. And you’re going to look around you and you’re gonna see that He really has made all things new. Some people say, “I don’t know how that suddenly happened,” but you will know that He’s been preparing it all along, and now’s the time for it to come forth. This is your season. A fruitful season. A fruitful season. A fruitful season. Hallelujah. Thank you Lord.
It is Day 15,163 and I am stopping in for a short visit to record something that happened after church this morning. There was a guest speaker from another local church, but I didn’t get to hear his message because today was my day to speak to the young teen group; Sikki and I are scheduled to be with the teens once a month. But after the service, I was hunting down my little children and the visiting preacher called me over and said he wanted to pray for me.
I found his prayer noteworthy because it wasn’t your usual run-of-the-mill generic stuff. It seemed like his prayer for me matched so many of my own prayers on a day-to-day basis that it seemed to have prophetic, affirming tone. He prayed for increased effectiveness in my service to the Body of Christ, for ideas and imagination to take ministry outside of the four walls of that church to reach young people specifically, and for protection from temptation and despair. He called me a “choice tool,” which when I write it here makes me chortle because I am a smart aleck, but I also appreciated the prayer and spontaneity of the thing.
I haven’t written much here in the past few months because I’ve been very busy and haven’t felt like writing. My health continues to improve. Last time I went to the pulmonologist she told me I could probably come off Xolair injections if I lost 30 pounds, which as it turns out is about what I gained in the past year. So I’m not sure how losing weight will help me breathe better, but at the same time I’ve always wanted to lose weight.
On March 1 (Ash Wednesday) I started an Alternate-Day Fasting approach, which I am documenting on another one of my old blogs here. I’d heard about intermittent fasting from a number of sources in the past couple of years, but I decided that since I’ve been dealing with tendinitis in my right heel I’d give the fasting a go for a couple weeks and re-evaluate after that. Even if I haven’t lost weight yet, I do feel better.
Last week I took steps to go back to college. After talking with a vocational rehabilitation counselor from the disability insurance company, I found out they might pay for some of my tuition if I can prove that my degree major will lead to a good job. I’ve got the time, I love to study, and I have always wanted to finish my bachelor’s degree. So why not try? I’d like to get into the Communication Studies program at Appalachian State University if I get accepted. I figure Communication Studies is somewhat in line with what the preacher prayed this morning.
This interested me because the author, Art Sisneros, an elector in Texas, tried to make a biblically informed decision about voting for Donald Trump. He hit some points I hadn’t considered. He resigned his elector position so he wouldn’t have to violate scriptural principles by voting for Trump.
I’ve decided to lay out the foundations of my claim that Donald Trump should never have been unquestioningly supported by Christian believers in the American Church, and how that support has damaged the veracity and witness of the Church in the eyes of the world, perhaps for many years to come. I did not draw these conclusions with flippancy or haughtiness, but I read, listened and wrestled with various viewpoints and information about this issue for nearly two years. While I could have written an even longer discussion on the unacceptability of the Church’s supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016, for the most part I know Christians did not do so, which makes that argument unnecessary. Suffice it to say that many of the cautions and points I raise about Mr. Trump could also be applied to Mrs. Clinton. My goal in writing is to show the workings of my thought process and the conclusions I reached, both for my own sake as a kind of record, and in an effort to teach my children the necessity of a faith that asks pertinent questions and searches for answers without fear and, once those answers are discovered, applies them to real life, “knowing” them in the biblical sense of the word, letting the chips fall where they may.
I have always felt more concern for, and had more interest in, what is happening in the life of the Church than with the United States at large. I am not a nationalist. I’m not even very patriotic. I don’t pledge allegiance to a flag, and I don’t have an “America First” mentality. “Our citizenship is in heaven,” the apostle wrote. While here on the earth by God’s decision I am part of a larger Body of Christ whose purpose is to bring God glory and represent Him faithfully, to be perfected in love and unity, and to seek the good of the land of our sojourn. It’s a place where many different ideas exist and contentions often arise. But the aim of my life is to serve that Body. My allegiance, passions, prayers, energies and thoughts are with the Bride until my Master takes me home. The behavior of my fellow believers – including everything they have said and done in this election year – is of primary interest and concern to me, simply because I am connected to them for better or for worse.
Before I get to specifics, I must first touch on some general cultural dynamics within the American Church community which make this volatile and vitriolic election year a difficult subject to discuss with others, much less come to agreement on. While they may seem unrelated to my declared subject, if you’ll bear with me it will hopefully become obvious why they are pertinent to the larger picture.
Continue reading “The Church’s Trump Dilemma”
Went to church this morning, after not being there for a month of Sundays. Thing was, I felt pretty good for most of this week, but when it came time to get ready to leave with the family, my lungs went janky again. I went anyway, but I felt very tired and short of breath when we arrived. Of course I couldn’t help but consider the spiritual ramifications of starting to feel better and having a good week, and then feeling sick again on Sunday morning.
At the outset of the song service, the people all prayed for me. I was out of breath and sweating bullets. After the worship, Ronnie Coleman gave the message. He is a prophetic man; he hears from God. In the middle of his sermon he said this:
Brother Steve, as we were praying for you I heard the Lord say, “This is a precious thing that I have deposited within this man. And it will not be achieved and claimed without a ferocious battle.” But He also said, “But you shall live. And not only live, but you shall live well. For it is my choosing, saith the Lord, that you edify the house of God and the people of God, even as I have edified you.”
Here’s his whole message.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. — 1 Corinthians 13:12