Nomadic Kindred Hearts

Yesterday at the conference I met Rosy.  Right from the start she seemed to be the most interesting person in the room.  I met her just before the Ladies Coffee, which was a social time built into the conference.  I didn’t register for the Ladies Coffee right away just because the idea of a Ladies Coffee didn’t really appeal to me.  I don’t really fit in with most of the women there.  But the Holy Spirit had urged me to register for it at the last minute, so I did.  I asked Rosy if she was going to the Ladies Coffee, and she said that she was.  So we went off together, leaving her boyfriend, Bobby, to attend the next session without us.

Rosy is doing something that I had always dreamed of doing, but never had the freedom or the resources to do: she lives in her fully-equipped camper van and has been traveling around the country since she was laid off from her job.  That’s a courageous and daring thing to do, and I admire her a lot for doing it.  When I bought my camper van in 2011 (see my first book, Look, Listen, Love) I had thought of doing that, but in Europe.  My camper was stolen, which put an end to that dream for me.  Nevertheless, I still think about it sometimes when I’m traveling around in Europe.

Rosy also blogs.  So there we have a lot in common: writers, nomadic at heart, plus we’re both attending the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Conference, so we both keep our ears open for the trumpet’s sound.  I love all the new friends God has for me!  God is good!

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture

Greetings from Dallas!

I am here attending the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Conference.  The conference has only just started, but already God has been very merciful, helping me through what could have been a couple of bad logistical problems.

The first was the drive to the airport.  I left Asheville yesterday morning to drive my son home to Chapel Hill, and then turn back and on to the airport in Charlotte.  I had budgeted about seven hours, even though Google Maps had predicted that the total trip would take only a bit over five.  I had added an extra hour to my driving plan so that we could have lunch together at his local sushi palace.  Leaving him on his doorstep with a full stomach and sushi leftovers, I headed on toward Charlotte.  Google Maps either didn’t know about the construction on Highway 85 or that it was the tail end of Thanksgiving weekend and certainly both played a part in the drive time taking every bit of seven hours.  I didn’t really hit delays until about 35 miles outside of Charlotte, but I was really glad that I had decided to head straight to the airport and not take my time.  In the long term parking lot, I hailed a passing bus that had just gone by the shelter before I could get there.  The driver graciously stopped for me even though she was not at an official stop when she did it.  On entering the airport, I was especially glad that I had my boarding pass with me and no luggage to check.  The flight was delayed by nearly half an hour, but that’s not a problem when you have no connection to make.  It gave me an opportunity to breathe and even get a light dinner before boarding.

In order to avoid the expense of renting a car that I would really only need twice a day, I had selected an airport hotel near the conference site, which was another airport hotel.  My plan was to take the shuttle to the airport and then catch the other hotel’s shuttle.  My hotel’s shuttle departs for the airport every hour on the hour starting at six AM.  As I thought about this plan, the enormous hassle and potential of hours lost waiting for one shuttle or the other began to worry me.   Rather than worry, I simply prayed instead.  After a good night’s sleep, I had thought to catch the six AM shuttle to the airport and arrive finally at the other hotel in time for the conference start at eight.  Good plan, but I missed the six AM shuttle.  I decided that it would be OK if I were a bit late for the conference.  And who knows?  I might arrive on time for the conference anyway.  So I got a quick breakfast and signed up for the seven AM shuttle.  The shuttle driver was there, and he asked me what terminal I was going to.  I told him about my crazy shuttle plan.  He wanted to know where the other hotel was, and I told him.  He said that since he had only two stops to make this morning, he would take me to the other hotel.  In fact, he said that he’ll be working all week, and that he would take me every day, assuming that he doesn’t have a lot of stops to make.  That is an answer to prayer, and one I would never have thought to hope for!

So once again, I’m feeling like God’s favorite kid.  God is good!

Worship in the Afternoon and Forgiveness in the Morning

Our afternoon worship session (4-6 PM) was the best attended, besides prime time.  Felicity was in the zone, having really gotten in touch with her vocalization and riffing.  But of course, it’s not about the music as much as it is about the heart.  Her heart was clearly worshiping God, and that is what bumped her vocal style to the next level (perhaps even a few levels).

Bethany has shown a real talent for the flags.  She is able to make them dance in some really beautiful ways.  I love the flags, but I’m not at all good at it, and I’ve never waved them without the stick hitting something.  I figured that I should probably stop now before I put someone’s eye out.

After the session, I was feeling very tired, and wanted nothing more than to return to the hotel and sleep—yes, this was at six in the evening.  We have done late night, early morning, wee hours, and so forth, so that now I just need to go rest when my body says so, no matter what the hour.  So I went to the cloak room to put on my jacket.  The others were behind me and they were invited to share Communion with a couple of German men.  I saw Felicity go to her knees, and I knew that this could be a while, so I walked back to the hotel alone.

The following day, we were upstairs in the church’s coffee shop.  Felicity told me that she needed to talk with me.  So we went into the prayer room, which was empty for the first time (no babies, no nursing mothers, no small children).  There she told me about the German men inviting them to share Communion.  She said that she immediately realized that she needed to repent.  She confessed that she had been holding anger and unforgiveness in her heart because of Europe’s involvement with the African slave trade (Felicity is African-American).  She poured out her heart about how much she hates when people want to touch her hair or ask her what African country she comes from—she doesn’t know because her ancestors were kidnapped and taken to America as slaves.

We wept together for both her pain and for the loss of her heritage and culture.  Felicity knows that these are innocent things not intended to wound her, but she can’t deny the pain they cause her.  Before she took Communion, she knelt to forgive the Europeans, and to ask God to forgive her.

In the next teaching session, when we were invited to share our experiences at Tabernacles, Felicity asked me if she should share her pain and to ask forgiveness.  I told her that if that’s what she wants to do, she should do it.  So she did.  And several people told her that they forgive her.  But some people have since acted differently around her, avoiding her, particularly the German girls because it had involved their friends.

At the end of the teaching session, they called forward all the young people (those 30 and under), and we prayed for them.  I came and prayed specifically for Felicity.  The Holy Spirit urged me to also repent and ask her forgiveness for my ancestors’ part in the slave trade because my people, though not rich landowners, had some slaves nevertheless.  I had never felt personally responsible for the slave trade because it was all over and done with long before I was born, and I have always treated Felicity with the same kindness and respect that I treat all my friends.  But sins curse lasts to the 4th generation, and it was right for me to repent and confess the sin so that its curse could be completely broken.  Felicity forgave without hesitation, and we wept in each other’s arms.  It was a very cleansing moment for me.  Later she told me that nobody had ever asked forgiveness for the slave trade before.  It was very hard, but I am really glad that I did it.  It was the right thing to do.

Our last session was 6-8 AM.  I woke up half an hour before the alarm, and began to pray.  One person God led me to pray for particularly was Felicity.  Then God gave me a word for her: Isaiah 41:10:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous Right Hand.

And the Lord’s word to Felicity went something like this (I don’t remember it exactly):

I have felt every blow and every insult, whether intentional or not.  I know your pain, but I will take the pain away.  It is no accident that you are here.  You are here for your healing.  Receive your healing.  You are My beloved daughter.  You are loved.  You have value.

This prophecy came to me in the form of a song, and the Lord told me to sing this to Felicity—on the platform in the church.  I realized that this could be a very emotional moment for her, and I felt like it would be best if she knew that it was coming, rather than surprising her.  So we walked together to church while the others were still gathering themselves.  I told her about the word, without telling her what it is, and asked her when she wanted it: early in the session (when there are likely to be fewer people) or later in the session (when she won’t have to struggle with emotions and tears while trying to sing).  She told me she wanted it early, and asked me why I had to sing it.  I told her about how God had healed me to sing (see Dancing in My Dreams).  She said, “Oh, I get it!  Killing two birds with one song!”  Yeah, that’s exactly it!

So, the sanctuary wasn’t completely empty, but we warned the others about what was going to happen, and we proceeded.  Being first thing in the morning, and early morning at that, my voice was terrible.  But I sang anyway.  Felicity cried, but not a whole lot, and was able to go on with worship without any problems.  It was a nice worship session, nothing spectacular, but full of the right heart for God.  God is good!

Dream or Vision

On Saturday I was on a train returning to Milan from a prophetic conference.  I had had to leave the conference early in order to be back in Milan to meet a missionary coming into town.  I was in that twilight state between sleep and being awake and I had a dream or vision:

There was an object—a silver oblong cube, like a very small shoebox about 5-6 inches long and about 3 inches wide and 3 inches high.  This object was handed to a prophet.  The prophet was hugely pregnant and held the object where the baby’s foot was.  And the baby pushed its foot toward the object, so that it was as though the baby was stepping on the object.

I asked the Lord, “What does this mean and who is it for?”  But He remained silent.

When I returned home, I wrote the dream/vision out and sent it in an e-mail to the missionary who had driven me to the train station from the conference.  Since she had been the last person I had spoken with, I thought that perhaps it was for her or she might know what it means.  But she wrote back, saying that it doesn’t ring any bells, but it is a very cool vision.

Again this morning I asked the Lord, “What does the vision mean and who is it for?”  He said, “You are the prophet.  You are full of the gifts—all of the gifts.  Step into your anointing.”  And my spirit said, “WOW!!!”

A few minutes later, the missionary that is staying as a guest in my house came in and said, “The Lord gave me a word for you: Psalm 150, verse 6: ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.’  And He says that He will do it for you.”

Of course, my reaction was visible goosebumps and a dropped jaw.  She shook her head, not knowing what all of it means, until I told her about the vision and what God had just told me moments before, and it was her turn to be surprised and goosebumpy.

Praise the Lord, as the Psalmist says, and stay tuned because acts of God are coming!  God is good!

A Bad Translation and a Couple of Prophetic Words

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, emphasis mine).  I heard read an interesting study saying that the word apostasy, meaning heresy and often translated as falling away or departure from the faith is a bad translation.  The Greek word apostasia means departure, as in physically leaving a place.  Nowhere in any ancient Greek text is the word apostasia used in the sense of heresy.  It always means departure.  Also, elsewhere in the New Testament the word is used only in the sense of departure.

In light of the true meaning of the word, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 should read: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the departure comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,” (emphasis mine).  The departure is when we leave earth—the Rapture.

The Rapture makes sense of verse 7, which says: “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the One who now holds it back will continue to do so till He is taken out of the way.”  Right now the Holy Spirit present on earth in the bodies of Christians is what is restraining evil from having full reign.  When we are raptured away, evil will run rampant in the earth unrestrained.  That’s when the antichrist will be revealed.

Here’s a link to read in more depth about the mis-translation of the word apostasia and the pre-tribulation rapture: The Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.  And of course, you should read that whole passage to understand everything in context.  In fact, go ahead and read the whole book of 2nd Thessalonians.  It’s short.  Read both books of Thessalonians.  I’ll wait here until you get back.  ☺

I’ve been visiting missionaries, Suki and Dave, in Tuscany, and together we visited a couple of churches.  Last night I received a prophetic word.  The prophet said that I have a strong character—said twice.  And that I am at a crossroads where I need to make a decision, that I already know the right choice.  Suki was also given a prophetic word that encouraged her.

It’s true, I was presented with an interesting choice—one that I didn’t tell anyone about.  Potentially, the choice could make me a nice little profit, but I felt that it wasn’t the right choice.  So I prayed about it.  I didn’t get an answer per se, but just continued to feel that chasing the money wasn’t what God wanted me to do.  This prophetic word confirmed what I had already felt.

This morning Suki told me that she had a word for me, Isaiah 45:1-3, which says: “This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to [Alisa—she inserted my name in place of Cyrus], whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before [her] and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before [her] so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.  I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”  Amen!  Hallelujah!  This is not the first time I’ve received a word like this, but I never get tired of hearing about hidden treasures, the full inheritance, the table full of whatever I want (all of which have been prophesied over me).  I know that God loves me and that He provides everything I could ever want or need.

Suki went on to say that as she was praying for me, the Lord showed her that my life has been a very solitary one, despite the fact that I’m a cheerful, friendly person.  She didn’t have any way of knowing that about my past life (having only known me for a year), but she’s exactly right.  Even during my marriage I was alone much of the time.

And my present life is very solitary.  There are a lot of people who come and go, and I come and go, visiting missionaries all over Europe.  But I am mostly alone, traveling from place to place.  I don’t often write about loneliness because to be perfectly honest, I don’t often feel lonely.  There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely.  Although I am often alone, I rarely feel lonely.  Plus, there are worse things than being lonely—and an unhappy marriage is one of them.  But loneliness is something that most people fear, so they think that maybe I am unhappy when they realize how alone I am.  I think this is what Suki thought when God revealed to her about my solitary life.  I assured her that I am alone a lot, but very content, and living a very full life in the midst of solitude.  I don’t know if I convinced her, but it’s the truth.

I have a ring that is twisted into a Mobius strip with Jeremiah 29:11 inscribed on it: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  I wear this ring on the finger where a wedding ring goes.  It’s not that I hate men—not at all!—but I just don’t know how I would ever fit one into my life and ministry.  I know that it’s easy to say no to the man I’ve never met, but to be honest, I now consider myself married to Jesus.  I am anxiously waiting for the day when He comes to catch me up into the air for our wedding feast in Heaven.  So if a man meets me and sees the ring on my finger, it tells the story: I’m already spoken for.  And I keep myself busy, doing the work He has given me to do until that day comes—alone, but not lonely.  God is good!

ringI know the plans He has for me are all good!