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Adventure

This blog is dedicated to sharing the unfolding adventure in South Africa as we partner with God there in this season.  We invite you to read, to enjoy, and to pray as God moves upon your heart to do so.

If you would like to read a description of the events we are doing there, please click here to visit the South Africa website.

My surroundings are once again familiar, but I am not.  It feels a bit surreal to be back in California because I am not entirely sure who returned!  It feels that much has changed inside of me, and being back home seems to have made it even more obvious.

Of course, some of this may also be related to the fact that a bunch of me is still somewhere between South Africa and here.  My body seems to be present, but I make no promises about my brain.  I spent way too many hours on airplanes and in airports and promptly used up what little brain I had left by going into the office today.  I am sure the rest will catch up eventually.

I believe the last blog I wrote was shortly after I arrived back in Pretoria.  I had three events left, one of which was the second presentation of “Anchored in Time”.  We decided to address the spiritual dynamics of the city directly and I invited everyone to join me in getting past the confines of the soul and to listen with their spirits.  There was a noticeable positive shift from the night before, and I hope we made a good impact on the land as well.  One of the special stories from the “Anchored” seminar in Pretoria was a mother who found some answers for her young daughters.  They had experienced the death of their sister and she realized that this concept of missing “blocks” from our lives was exactly what was happening and she knew how to go forward with helping them heal – not to mention for her own process.  This story I will cherish.  I love helping adults, but the sooner we can learn and heal, the better off we are.  What a joy to be able to help those young girls now instead of 40 years from now.

Looking back on the two presentations of this key material, I feel that God is pleased with the beginning.  There will be considerable growth and improvement to come, I am sure, but the first fruits was beyond my expectations.  I am so grateful to Him for the grace and the fluidity He gave me to teach.

The final presentation I gave in South Africa was at a special dinner we arranged for me to share some things from my own life story.  I shared some about the process of discovering and unpacking my design, as well as some of the lessons God has taught me about living with tension.  His very nature presents us with many concepts and experiences too big for us to understand.

His love is sometimes the hardest of all.

There is much for me to unpack from the trip.  In the midst of all the countless duties of settling back into this life, I will be savoring and celebrating the many amazing facets of my time in South Africa.  When I got back to my desk at home, I noticed that my calendar still showed August.  It is a strange to feel like I am coming back to a world that stopped moving when I left, yet nothing is the same because I am not.

Thank you to everyone who followed along as I traveled, for those who gave encouraging comments, and especially for those who joined us in prayer.  I know that your prayers had an impact, and I thank you for your investment in the Kingdom through me.  I know there has been considerable fruit in my life, not to mention in the lives of those in the nation and the land itself.  I look forward to unpacking these treasures and sharing more as the story unfolds.

Meanwhile, I will soon shut down this blog and will resume writing in my main blog as other thoughts and events appear.

And for anyone who is curious, all my fish were alive to greet me!

Celebrating

It is a joyful thing to celebrate our God.  And if it is me singing, it is also a noise.

We have arrived back in Pretoria for the last three sessions before I return to the States.  As I look back at the time in Cape Town, it is hard to believe it was only a week.  It feels as if we were there for a month or two.  Each day was packed with new experiences, and there is much to savor about God and how His fingerprints are all over the place.

After the Sunday service where I preached my very first sermon ever a lady came up to me and expressed that what I had shared landed very deeply because she used to have the freedom to ask questions and explore the mysteries of God, but had shut it down because of the responses of people around her.  In the message I gave several examples of different awe experiences and the importance of our letting God stir the waters of our spirits so that they do not become stagnant.  The comfortable, small worlds we create for ourselves have a habit of shrinking in upon us.  It brought me tremendous joy that God used me to release someone back into the world of wonderment.  I believe it is so important to our effectiveness in the Kingdom that we are anchored enough in God’s character and our legitimacy in Him that He can rearrange the molecules of our brain and emotions like you shake a bottle of Coke.  Any time we feel the reality of our size compared to His, I think our spirits grow.

God also arranged a special, very personal treat for me through some dear friends of mine.  This was a piece of His timing to begin with because they had just moved back to South Africa in time for me to see them while I was here.  On Sunday we went to The Boulders and met the African Penguins.  This is the first time I have ever seen them in the wild and it is an entirely different experience than seeing them in a zoo.  And I discovered the my attachment to them is still as strong as it ever was.  There are few animals that remind me so much of little people.  There was one little guy that waddled off with his head kinda low and made me want to jump in their space and find out if something was wrong – like inner healing for penguins!  Either that, or I am the one who needs the inner healing … hmmmmm.

I wonder what God deposited in the land through our time there or what may have been released to us.  On Wednesday I spent the day at Kirstenbosch Gardens and found a very special spot on the land.  I wonder if the next person who comes will be affected by the presence of God on that particular bench?  How fun would that be!  They would never know the whole story, yet God would have arranged the time and the place just for them.

And I just marvel over how many stories there are just like that.  There are so many things we can see and celebrate.  How many thousands of things did we never know?

One of the days in Cape Town was a land assignment on a hill overlooking the area.  It was a privilege and a joy to join with the King in celebrating His creation and coming into agreement with the value of the resources He has placed there.  And just for the fun of it, I think, He had a Kite (bird of prey) show up and do some hovercraft displays for us!  God’s fingerprints are everywhere.

Even in the electricity failure that forced me to move closer to the people to teach a topic that touches many tender spots.  Even the wicked sore throat and cold that clued me in on some generational defilement in my family line.  God’s fingerprints are everywhere!

I am looking forward to the remainder of the teaching sessions.  Tonight I am teaching a conglomeration of time related tools, some of them new, most of them familiar.  But we do not have a format where they are all together in one package.  So, this will be a fun one to do.

Tomorrow begins my second round of “Anchored in Time” and I am very excited about that.  I have, of course, already made some improvements since last weekend.  It will be quite interesting to see how it is received in a Teacher city instead of Prophet (Tableview).  I think that the sequence of teaching first in Tableview and then in Pretoria was a God thing.  It is fun to see how those pieces come into place.

The last event on Saturday night is something else I have never done before.  We are doing a semi-formal dinner presentation that is focused on celebrating the process, not just the product.  I have been to many dinner presentations, but never one where I was the speaker.  I am looking forward to the setting and feel that it will be a time to celebrate the elegance and majesty of our God.  It never ceases to amaze me how extraordinarily majestic He is, even with His hands deep in the dirt of our messy lives.

What a mighty God we serve!

The Southern Dance

Before I left for South Africa, a friend of mine shared that he thought it was important for me to connect with the stars while I was there, that there was something for me in that particular expression of God’s creation.

The idea was not at all foreign to me.  I love the stars.  I have always been drawn to the starry nights, to be under them, to feel their immensity and to allow my spirit to soak in the songs they are singing about our God, as it says in Psalms for the sun, moon and stars to sing His praises.

I grew up (and still live) in the Northern Hemisphere, so I am used to experiencing that window into the heavens.  Well, I experience them any time I get out of Los Angeles, anyway!  But from what I have heard from others who grew up in the South, there is a very different dynamic to the stars there.

So, as I came to South Africa, I was looking for opportunities to spend some time out at night.  The first place we stayed was still too close to the city for any really good stargazing, and the hotel would never actually be dark.  But the second place turned out to be a such a God thing.  It was a lodge in the middle of NOWHERE.  It was serious South African bush.  It took us twenty minutes just to get from the gate to the lodge, and that was after an hour or more on a dirt road off of the main road.

I was excited.  This would be stargazing at its absolute best.  I had brought all my warm clothes, not knowing how chilly it would be at night.  So, when darkness came, I bundled myself up and went out to sit and listen.

Well … the best laid plans of mice and men, as they say …

I could not connect at ALL.  Nothing.  Zip.  Nada.  It was quite disappointing.

But I was not so easily daunted.  My insatiable curiosity bubbled up and I started asking the “why” questions.  Was it the land?  No.  Was it defilement?  No.  Was it me?  Sort of.  (Truly, I do get those kinds of answers from my spirit.  It means, “getting warmer”).  Was it the stars?  YES.  Why?

What I realized, which must have been nothing short of a revelation from God, is that they were singing a different song than I was used to.  Of COURSE!  It made sense.  All of the animals here are different.  You scare elephants and warthogs off the road instead of deer and opossums (have you ever thought about elephant road kill?  Yikes!).  The trees and grasses are different.  The people speak different languages too, why not the stars?

So, that put me in an interesting place.  How was I going to learn a different language before I left?  I have never done this before.  I figured the first place to start would be to ask God to introduce my spirit to the stars here and teach me how to connect with them, to teach me their dance so that I could join in their worship of the King.

All through the next day I was thinking of the stars and could feel that something was going on.  I think that my spirit was really getting to know the flavor of the heavens here, and that evening proved it true!

I could not WAIT until everyone went to bed already and left me in peace with the sky.  Earlier in the day God had given me a particular flavor of music I should use for worship and it lit a fire inside of me.  While Victoria Falls sent my spirit and soul into a state of trembling wonderment, this evening under the stars made my spirit feel as if it would expand right out of my body.  I longed to join their wild and wondrous dance, to worship the King with the morning stars who sang when He built the foundations of the earth.

I worshiped and I sang and I sat.  My spirit went from moments of great expansion, wishing to be free to soar, to moments of near utter stillness, plumbing the depths, pondering the mysteries, wondering what that day of Creation may have been like when the stars rolled from His hands, their garments like fingers of fire.

If I were a pastor and chose my own time for Sunday service, it would be at night, under the stars.

It seems as though the Lord and my spirit did their work between the evening of my language barrier and the evening when I could connect.  No comparison!

Several days later I was sharing the story with a friend who grew up under the Southern Cross and then moved to the Northern Hemisphere for several years.  She could totally relate to what I said about the different kind of language and had never felt that she could really connect while she lived in the North.  I wonder what might have happened for her if she had worked with her spirit to learn it?

Now if I could only learn French that easily!

First Fruits

The morning began something like what I imagined, although in my anticipation for the day, I got up way earlier than I needed and probably woke everyone else up in the process.  But they apparently forgave me, got ready and left about an hour early to set up at the church.  I stayed back and had some time to finish and quiet myself in preparation.

Then I got a phone call from Niell.  The electricity at the church was out.  Not a spark of life anywhere and no visible reason we could see for why.  It was a clear morning, no rain the night before, no wind, no thunderclouds.  This presented a very interesting problem!

Niell came back and picked me up about a half hour before the event began and the power was still not on.  They had a generator so they could have some of the lights, but no recording and no amplification, which was the real issue as far as I was concerned.  I don’t have a big booming voice.  All the while I was querying God and praying against everything I could think of, yet still trying to find out if God was in it somewhere.

We managed to find a way to record, but the speakers could not handle the generator power, so we moved the podium off the little stage so I was down on the same level as the people and much closer. I shared the fact that this was a first fruits teaching and how important that is to God.  We prayed together and I began.

A bit later someone came in with a portable mic and speaker that was battery operated (I need to get one of those!) and then shortly afterwards the electricity came back on and we powered up everything again.  I still am not sure why it happened or whether it was God or the devil.  But one thing I do find interesting is that it forced me to move down and closer to the people and I seriously wonder if that mattered for this teaching.  Even after the mic came back on I had no desire to move back up to the stage.

I wonder if God allowed the resistance so that we would push even harder and He would bless it more.  I don’t know.  But it was not going to stop me, that is for sure!

As I looked forward to this presentation for many months I had almost two opposite kinds of concerns.  One is that what I was teaching would be too abstract or too esoteric for people to really get.  On the other hand, I have been so steeped in it for such a long time that I was also concerned that people would tell me it was nothing new and they had heard it all before.

It is hard to express how I feel about the way it seemed to go today.  I think that God obliterated both of those concerns.  People seemed to be with me, to grasp the idea and to really SEE the importance of their connection to Divine Time and the story of their lives.  In fact, my tumbling tower example bothered enough people that they couldn’t let me leave it in pieces!  Person after person came up to tell me how much this helped pieces of their lives fit together and make sense – some of them had already been working through this process without knowing it and others realized it was the key, and still others saw how they could take their healing a step further.

I am in awe of what God did today.  One gentleman I had met with a year or so ago and shared some of these initial ideas commented how much I was a living testimony of what I was teaching.  He saw me then.  He saw me today and could see the difference.

God was so strategic with the questions and people’s comments.  Time and time again a person would give a testimony or a picture that would so beautifully compliment the things I was sharing.  I am savoring very deeply yet almost  with incredulity how the words flowed and how God had put together this whole package beginning with the days as a kid when I knew there was something about me that was missing.

It is an exciting thought to know that this is just the first fruits.  I am not content to settle with anything but God’s best and I know there is much room for growth and improvement.  But I am delighted and amazed and incredibly grateful to everyone who has prayed, who has warred and who has invested in this process in a multitude of ways.

Thank you to all of those who believe in me, who have supported me, who have taught and ministered to me.  None of this would be without God and the community of friends and family He has provided.

Onward and forward!

Exhorter City Central

United States … South Africa … Canada … France …

Different cities, different languages, different ethnicities, different currencies, same old vibe.  Once an Exhorter, always an Exhorter.

And Cape Town is no exception.

I arrived here yesterday morning after having been promised by the rest of South Africa that Cape Town is where it is AT … or at least according to the Capetonians.  But even so, there seems to be at least a grudging admittance by the rest of South Africa that there is truly something different about Cape Town.  There is a magnetic attraction to the Exhorter, no doubt.  In person, their charisma draws people to them, and in cities they do the same.

It has been a joy to be here.  There is something in my spirit that has always liked Exhorter cities.  In California, I initially settled near an Exhorter city and did all of my shopping there instead of the Giver city where I lived.  Then I moved into the Exhorter city itself.  Then I thought I was moving just outside of the same city and discovered that even though my address bears a different city name, the complex that I am in is actually sitting on top of the city line, and I am in the Exhorter half!  I guess the magnetic attraction is pretty strong in my case.

I feel very at home here.  The city has all of the normal Exhorter strengths and weaknesses, but my spirit resonates well with the positive spiritual dynamics of this land.

Last night I taught the first session on Portals.  It is so interesting to feel and observe the differences between the Teacher city of Pretoria and the Exhorter feel of this area.  Even though we are in one of the suburbs of Cape Town, the Exhorter dynamic is quite discernible.

Tonight and tomorrow I will teach on two new topics, “Spirit vs. Soul” and “Legitimacy”.  It will be fun to see how the material flows and what kinds of things God causes to bubble up in me and the questions people ask.  Last night I had some questions about things I had never thought of.  It was quite fun.

It is also quite nice to have a voice again!  I am beginning to sound like myself instead of an old lady who spent her whole life smoking.

My spirit is already beginning to lean into the message on Saturday, which is the keynote presentation on being anchored in time.  Tomorrow during the day I have a significant chunk of time blocked off to spend going over my material and getting it settled even more deeply in my spirit.  If you feel the Lord directly you to pray into this specific presentation, I would appreciate your prayers.  There is so much in my spirit that I want to express, and I hope my soul can keep up!

Mercy and More

It is Sunday evening and we are done with the first round of events in Pretoria.

Out of the three seminars I had the most fun with the Mercy session.  Why?  Because I have the earned authority to pick on my own tribe!  Or at least to exaggerate a tiny bit.  I did ask what percentage of the people were Mercys and what percentage were people trying to FIX their Mercys.  I caught them in the act!  There were quite of few of them.  I hope they were able to take some valuable tools home.  There was one really special moment when I answered the question from a Mom who needed some insight for working with her Mercy daughter.  I think their relationship will be different from this point on.

And given the number of people who laughed, shook their heads, rolled their eyes or covered their face with their hands, I think I hit a few spots with the Mercys and non-Mercys alike.

The seminar on structures is always an interesting proposition.  I need to take people from the idea of structures in all areas of life, to that of the spiritual specifically, and then of their spirit, and then how we have seen these structures work or not work, as the case may be.  It is not always easy to explain or to grasp.  But I stopped once in a while and took a pulse check to see if anyone was still alive.  There were only a few casualties and we removed them immediately.

I love when God brings the reports that make everything worth it to you.  One lady came up at the end of the day and said that the portion on the markers in time would absolutely transform her life.  She knew there was not a spiritual marker at the place of her birth and she had been walking without a sense of place or identity for all these years.  Seeing the joy on her face at God having given her a tool to start the anchoring process was a point of massive delight for me.  And then there was another story of a gentleman who had commented that this concept of structures was going to fill a bunch of holes in some materials they already had.  Go God!

Next week begins with a land assignment I am looking forward to.  We are not sure if it is a place primarily for me to invest in the land or for me to receive, or perhaps both.  Either way, it looks to have an adventurous amount of third level synchronization about it.

We leave at the CRACK of dawn on Wednesday.  Maybe not even a crack.  More like a hair-line fracture.  If the sun is not out of bed, why would any human want to be?  There must be something unholy about that.  Meanwhile, it will give us a good jump-start on our time in Cape Town, so I imagine I will recover from the trauma.

I will have a couple of evening seminars there, but my spirit is already jumping to the first fruits of the “Anchored in Time” seminar.  It is new material, gloriously abstract, and not something too many people think about!  I hope and pray that I may give God a gift that is truly pleasing to Him.

God’s Grace

I was a bit squeaky in spots last night, but God’s grace sustained me and we finished well!

Last night was the session on Portals and it seemed to resonate well with the audience.  I had several people comment that they had learned some new concepts in the course of the night.  Frankly, I was happy to hear that the intense looks were concentration and not preparation for firing torpedos!  Sometimes as the speaker it is hard to tell what the furrowed brows mean.

It brings such joy to me to teach people about God’s original design.  It is so easy to get focused on the junk and spend our lives hunting critters, until we think about them more than we do God and develop some kind of skewed awe for the havoc they can create.  Yes, the devil has some significant power, but at the end of the day, no matter what, no questions asked, God was there before the devil ever tried his first trick.  So, it is my hope that if nothing else, people left last night with a new perspective about the spiritual dynamics of land, and a strong desire to uncover and unpack those treasures.  Cleaning up the junk is only the first step!

Tonight is the Mercy presentation, and I am really looking forward to it.  I believe this is the first time I have taught a Mercy seminar live.  In the past it was only through a teleconference.  This could be fun!  And I just came off of a piece of Mercy land where I got a good dose of ether to fill my tanks.  But never fear, all you non-Mercys, there will be some concrete in there, too.  At least one piece.

Meanwhile, on another note, I have gotten a linguistic education while staying here.  I discovered the other day that a “geezer” in South Africa is a hot water heater.  You can imagine how confused THAT made me.  I finally asked Niell to stop and tell me what in the world he thought a geezer was because I was seriously lost.  I was quite relieved to find out he wasn’t talking about an old man.

I also learned, through the inquisitive questioning of the Bester ladies what our national flower, tree, and fish are.  Yeah, I didn’t even get on the scoreboard.  Thank goodness for the Internet.  Do YOU know the answers to any of those three?

My health and voice are still lagging, but I think we are progressing through the stages towards full recovery.

Six Kleenex boxes later …