The Sunday TYM.E.S. (Meditations, Encouragement, and Sharpening in Him)
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Greetings, again, and welcome to Chapter 3 of the story of how the Lord led me into prophetic ministry at the advanced age of 52. If you are joining us for the first time, please feel free to email me at TextHisWord@gmail.com, and I would be happy to forward the first two chapters of this story which appeared in the past two weeks’ newsletters.
Someone mentioned to me that these stories do not include much personal detail about my life. There is a reason for that. Sandy Landry is in the process of writing a book which will recount my adventures before the point at which this narrative begins. To say much more would definitely be a “spoiler” to her efforts; so please understand I am trying to write more about the process of learning to hear Him than about the secret life of a middle-aged violin teacher.
Anyway, the star of this show is the Lord. Without Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5) I can truly say, based on years of experience, He really does know how to relate to all of us where we are, taking into account who we are and how we tick. He wants to show us who He we are in HIM and what is HIS best purpose for us. And He most assuredly will reveal Himself in a way we can understand when we truly seek Him with all our hearts.
As this installment will chronicle, He loves to “mess with our minds” and disrupt our patterns of logic…and He is quick to aid us when we fully turn to Him and admit our need. And His Spirit transforms us faster than usual when He has our undivided attention, though as we know it can be a bumpy ride.
My prayer for you is a fresh hunger for HIM and a deeper relationship than ever with Him today while it is still called today!
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Life on His Terms, or How I Became a Surfer Mom
For those of you who have been waiting to hear what the strange smiling man said, he said, “Good morning, princess.” Bleary eyed, in my baggy black coat, at 7:00 am on a Saturday morning, I definitely did not feel like the tiara-type Barbie glamour doll. But it was a strange and thrilling confirmation of the words I had heard earlier from the Lord. I was finding the King will remind us of who we are, if we seek Him. It was through many such “coincidences” that the Lord graciously began to demonstrate the great lengths He would go to confirm His words to me.
In the few months that followed, I obsessed to know “why?” and “what next?” Why had these things happened? As the dust settled, and the shock diminished, I wanted direction. Not accustomed to receiving His direct help, I reverted to my usual ways of finding things out. God had used them before….why not again? At the time, I had an ingrained faith in consulting pastoral wisdom and reading books, so I resorted to these two avenues of help.
Rev. had known me for a few years, and we were on friendly terms. He was a great student of the word, an Ivy League man. Had he ever heard of anything like this before? To my surprise, Rev. did indeed know pastors who had received words and had encounters. But the end of the matter was clear in his mind. He held up his leather bound Bible and said, “In the end, this is all the word of God that we need.” And that was that. I bear him no grudge. I had myself been reading the Bible for over 40 years at that point. I love reading the Scriptures. But I simply HAD to find someone to talk to who would tell me what to do when the written word comes to you as an audible word, or as a vision, and when you start to hear things more frequently, and so on… so I continued my quest. I felt like Jim Carrey’s character in “The Truman Show” who suddenly comes to the realization that all his life he has been lied to, and that there has to be more.
My generation sought knowledge from books, not electronic media, so I prowled around for books on the subject of visions. There was a large bookstore in town called “East-West”. To read the posters in the windows, it would seem these New Age folks would love the chance to discuss personal encounters and visions with me. I was frustrated enough to consider it. But the Lord made it clear this was not the place to seek the answers. By contrast, the local Christian bookstores in Silicon Valley had closed or gone out of business.
The public library was likewise of no help, though I did spend time browsing the stacks there. I knew one of the research librarians personally. Another reason not to seek the answers there. I wanted to preserve my privacy on this, just in case it turned out that I was in a mild state of self delusion. Even after all I had been through, I was plagued with doubts. The enemy did suggest the whole thing was just one pathetic midlife crisis. Yet in my time with the Lord, I knew this was no lie, but something real and special.
My home Christian library consisted of Tozer, Spurgeon, Hudson Taylor, C.S. Lewis and on and on. I was an OLD-fashioned girl. There was nothing on my book shelves to suggest that any more revelation was needed beside these saints’ memoirs and the Bible. (In fairness, later upon rereading many of these books with new eyes, I found much supernatural content I’d missed on the first reading.)
With no help from pastoral or bookish knowledge, I started surfing. How ironic, this surfer mom had once criticized her son for spending hours on the computer….Yes, it was my time to SURF, and I began by ineptly typing out long questions in the Google search, such as “what do you do if you experience a dream or a prophecy or a vision”. Right away, I discovered that “personal prophecy” was the term for what I’d experienced. Lots of condemnatory sites came up, laced with strict warnings from knowledgeable Christians to avoid “dabbling” in personal prophecies and spurious revelatory activities. Many Christian sites insisted that prophecy for the Christian should be confined to “Bible” Prophecy. I finally learned what “cessationism” meant. The Lord was at least beginning to acquaint me with a bit of needed terminology.
Spring of 2008 had not yet witnessed the huge proliferation of online Christian prophetic sites which we have now. So in my searches I frequently encountered psychedelic New Age sites with angels, starbursts, feathers, and flowing robes. Although I dismissed the New Age, suddenly the prospect of these phenomena did not seem so ridiculous to me as they had in an earlier time. Funny how the perspective changes when you have an experience with the spirit realm.
On one search, the Elijah List surfaced, with its alphabetical directory of prophets. Where to begin? I scrolled down through the ABC’s and shook my head in despair. This could take forever to sort through, and I needed help NOW from someone trustworthy. Continually I prayed for direction. Surfing often led to more questions than answers.
By late March I was exhausted. Three months had gone by, and I had been seeking HIM-it seemed- night and day. I sat on the couch in the early afternoon, crying and at the end of my rope. I could not figure this thing out. Why? Why me? Why now? Why didn’t HE just appear again, since He did it once, and spell out what was next? What was I supposed to DO!? I hungered-badly-for answers. I engaged in a very “fervent” interchange with our Lord. Yes, it seemed He was not answering me as fast as I thought He should. The enemy came in dumping the usual loads of self-pity and hopelessness and mockery. After crying for hours, praise the Lord, a peace arrived. His peace. Nothing had changed and I didn’t hear any words in my spirit. But it felt different now, as I was given the faith to believe He is far more sincerely interested in honest communication than I could ever be. I rested in HIM.
Funny, in the next two weeks He introduced me to a pastor and to a book that provided a fresh wave of comfort and encouragement from Him.
On my next surfing expedition I googled “Prophetic Ministry”, and Kent Simpson’s site for “Prophetic Ministries Tabernacle” popped up first. Over the next few days, I visited it again and again. The simplicity and straightforwardness of the presentation intrigued me. No psychedelic bells and whistles here. I clicked on Kent’s teachings and read about how God sometimes plays “Hide and Seek”. Right, I thought, that’s exactly how it feels. This kindly looking person depicted on the home page, sitting on a couch, apparently in conversation: might he be someone that would listen and understand and even be able to offer guidance? I hesitated to write in, yet found myself revisiting the site to stare at the picture and wonder if this would be the needed connection with a real prophet.
Surfing again, I was led to a bright pink edition of a book called Personal Prophecy written by someone named Bill Hamon. Hours of topic-related surfing later, I was amazed….So there had been a whole prophetic movement in the church, beginning in 1988?? Hamon supposedly was one of the granddaddies of the movement. How had I missed this? How was it the Lord had done all this without telling anyone-or so I thought?? I guessed He was telling me now, `a la Amos 3:7.
Finally the book arrived in the usual brown cardboard. It felt as if I was holding a bright pink time bomb. I waited all through my work day until I had a little time to myself, and then…
Tune in next time!
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Thank you so very much for the prophetic word. It truly is a wonderful birthday gift from God!
Just prior to receiving this word from you I had been reviewing the past decade in my mind and, knowing that the dream symbol for 40 is ‘wilderness’ or ‘a time of testing’, I had been feeling as though I lived my entire 40s during this time of testing, during this ‘dark night of the soul’. But I also knew that 50 is symbolic for ‘jubilee’. I prayed that God would literally use the word ‘jubilee’ in this prophetic word through you — and He did! I just didn’t realize what that would actually entail for me. I am genuinely looking forward to this year!
So much of what you said is so very true —
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“Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”