The next year was full of surprises as one by one many of God’s promises became a reality. Over and over, He proved Himself faithful.
We’d always had good neighbors. Each one was friendly. None of them filled their yards with junk cars or had dogs that tore up our yard or barked all night. Still, before we left Missouri, God told us that we were going to have great neighbors. This promise proved to be a real word.
Our next-door neighbors are John and Stacy. Before we ever moved in, they saw us watering our redwood trees out of gallon jugs we’d carried from home. Stacy came over and volunteered to hook up their hoses to give the trees a proper drink. After doing that a couple of times, they offered to water the trees for us once or twice a week until we moved in. They never fail to be hands on help when we called.
Mary Jean and John live across the street. John is an x-Marine, and Mary Jean is a sweetheart. We love the American flag they have flying in their front yard. Mary Jean bakes endless cookies and goodies for the neighbors and her church. She also is the story lady for her grand children’s class at school. They are both dedicated Christians, and it shows.
Then there are Sam and Toni. I could write a book. Sam is the energizer bunny. He is always working on some mechanical something. Helping people repair their cars, lawnmowers, shop tools, etc., etc. is his joy. He has a huge Morton building that could house an eighteen wheeler. But it is full floor to ceiling with tools, screws, bolts, belts, washers, gaskets, and treasures galore. If you need anything, all you have to do is ask, and he likely has it or knows where he can get it. He won’t let you buy it from him. Oh, no. His generosity and heart are as big as Texas.
Toni and Sam have both been part of Boy Scout’s work for years. Toni is still working on a state level. They love working with kids and with their grandkids. Toni attends every little league game or hockey match the grandchildren have. She is also a marathon runner. She amazes us with her energy, love, and passion for people.
We can see each other’s houses from our own and keep an eye out for each other. If Sam sees us struggling with something, he hops on his four- wheeler and zips up our driveway to help. They transported Mike to ER when I wasn’t home. They provided air mattresses when our kids from Missouri visited. They helped us to move more furniture than I can remember. I’d say they have gone above and beyond the “Good Neighbor Sam” qualifications for years.
Yes, God provided stellar neighbors, and we are forever grateful.
When we were living at Greg’s, I attended Church of the Harvest-Kingdom meetings at IHOP in Stockton. One of my concerns in moving to Valley Springs was it would be a distance to attend Kevin’s meetings. Valley Springs is thirty-five miles from Stockton IHOP. What was I going to do?
Well, God had a plan. He opened a door for Kevin to start another group meeting in San Andreas, California. It was only fifteen miles up the hill from our new home. They began meeting about two months before we moved into our house. God was making way for me to stay connected.
Abba also promised me that I have instant deep relationships with church friends. On March 26, 2006, long before our move, He encouraged me. “I have a work planned for you. The ministry opportunities will not require years of bonding relationship.” He said. “I will anoint you. The anointing you carry, ‘Me,’ will open every door I want opened for you to speak, to pray, to serve, and to act. My ways fail not. Rest in My anointing. Rest in Me.”
My pastors, Kevin and Genevieve, were instant friends. They were easy to talk to. Kevin soon opened opportunities for me to teach, something other pastors had not done. It was a joy to minister God’s word in a place where people were hungry to learn, and I had the full support of the leadership.
Kevin and Genevieve gave me new opportunities to minister. But God also surprised me with requests for me to minister in Mike’s church.
In January 2010, another powerful, Spirit-filled woman from Sacramento, asked me to assist her in heading up a conference for the region. With prayer, we entitled the weekend, “Called to Wait on Him.”
It was a huge success, and afterward, I sat down with God and my journal. I am sure many of you will relate: “Lord, I love how You love me. You remember all the details and connect all the dots. You bring the pieces together with creative genius beyond any other I know. You are the lover of my soul. Thank You, Lord.”
God continued to lead me in ways that amazed me. He had creative ways to accent my need for trust. On February 14, 2010, I wrote: Lord, I come to sit at Your feet and lay at rest before You. I trust You to stir me as You have the need.
Immediately, the fragrance of spring flowers awakened my senses. In my mind, I’m at our home in Missouri, where Holy Spirit and I walked and talked daily.
Lord, I miss the beauties of that place, but I’m so glad for the vibrant pictures You’ve painted in my heart to remember. Why have You brought me here today?
“To remember My faithfulness through so many times of waiting. Rest in My faithfulness, Beloved. Rest. Resting will hasten the answers to the questions on your heart. Resting brings the unfolding manifestation of My words to you. I can’t give the promise to those whose hands are full of striving and working their own works. Rest, Beloved. I am faithful to My words. They will not fail.”
Again, He unraveled me in rest.
Going to the Church of the Harvest meetings, attending Mike’s church, and also going to the Messianic Bible study, gave me lots of teaching to chew on. More and more God seemed to be nudging me into teaching about the feasts and Hebrew roots. But at times I felt a lack of the Spirit in those teachings. One morning, I poured out my heart.
Lord, You alone know the plan and purpose for my life and Mike’s life. More and more I’m people are asking me to teach Hebrew roots, yet it feels confining and regimented. Can’t I share my testimonies and talk about Jesus instead? Teaching Hebrew roots stirs so much controversy. I need to see the path before me and know that I’m following You and not someone else’s good idea.
In my journal, I recorded this vision. I see Jesus before me looking over His right shoulder and calling me to follow. Before Him is a majestic purple mountain. It is nightfall. I am reluctant, remembering the last trip I took following the group up the mountain in the dark.
“Come Beloved, you can trust Me. I won’t lead you into a ditch.” He said, and then, He started singing.
‘We’re on the upward trail
We’re on the upward trail
Singing, singing, everybody singing
I have a new home for you Beloved. I’m taking you to high ground. Will you follow Me?”
Yes, Lord, I will follow, but I’m afraid.
“Fear not. I will not leave you. Look up. I will always be before you. Hebrew roots are My roots. When you teach them, your students will see Me with more clarity. It’s what you’ve cried out for—that others would see and know Me. They will Beloved. They will see more than ever before as you share the simple truths and paint the scenes with the paint by number instructions.”
In May of 2008, before moving to California, I’d gone to a house meeting in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. While I was there, a good friend named Dave Taylor prophesied over me about my Hebrew roots teaching.
“All you’ve taught, all the seeds sown, will come to harvest. None is lost. Your life is not wasted. It will bear much fruit. God will honor you. You will have many more opportunities to teach in California. There is hunger there.”
At the time, I admit that I questioned if this was the Lord. While I’d done some feast teaching in Missouri, the request for more never materialized. I often wondered why I was so drawn to keep digging in for more.
At the end of March 2010, Kevin and Genevieve wanted to have a Passover celebration and asked me to teach. We rented a large hall, prepared the food and the tables and sent out invitations. Sixty-five people came, and they were hungry to hear. I’d never had such rapt attention.
At the end of the teaching, I played a CD. There was a song I wanted us to sing before the closing. Still, after several tries, the CD wouldn’t play the song I wanted. I finally told Genevieve to play the song that kept coming up. When she did, we had a holy visitation, unlike anything I’d experienced before.
While we’d all been standing to sing, within a few lines of the song, most of us were on our faces worshiping the Lord. Jesus decided to come to the feast with His Presence. None of us will ever forget that night.
The song was, “We Glorify The Lamb of God-Jesus Christ,” by Terry Macalmon. You can find it on YouTube.
God is plain amazing!! He knew what needed to happen, and He did it.
Two days later, I taught the same Passover teaching at Mike’s church. About thirty people came. I was expecting the same high.
In part of the teaching, I explained the difference between Easter and Passover. In a nutshell, Easter is a pagan festival put in place by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, under the rule of Constantine. He and the council decided that ‘Easter’ was always to be celebrated on a Sunday. It would be between March 22 and April 25 in partnership with the vernal equinox that year. The name ‘Easter’ came from a Babylonian goddess named Ishtar. She was the pagan goddess of fertility and Spring. Their worship included sacrificing babies of the Temple prostitutes on Easter. They dyed eggs with the babies blood and hid them for ‘Easter Egg’ hunts. Along with the creation of this holiday, anyone caught celebrating Passover was killed. While we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter, we would better honor God by doing so on Passover.
After the Passover dinner at Mike’s church, we returned on Sunday morning. As we walked into the church, we found Easter eggs and bunnies decorating the entire church. Even the pulpit area was decorated. I went into the bathroom and cried. I wanted to get in our car and drive home. “Didn’t they hear what I told them, Abba?”
If it had not been for Holy Spirit, I would not have stayed. But, He kept me with daily reminders of His love for them and also reminded me what He asked me to do. I had to kick pride out the door more than once. While I knew more about some things, I certainly didn’t know everything. My commission was to love. A daily life of repentance became the norm. Never had I repented so much, but it was the only way to stay in Him. I learned to humble my high opinion of myself and love them more and more.
At the beginning of August, I started preparing to teach on the feast of Tabernacles. Because of the mixed reviews from Passover, I didn’t know how to put the teaching together. My desire was to glorify God and for the people to grab hold of the truth.
As I went into prayer, God interrupted with this:
“Let’s go down to the River, Beloved.”
In my mind’s eye, I saw a wide river. It was placid in appearance, but when I looked closer, I saw it moving with power from its depths.
“What do you see Beloved?” He asked.
It’s very deep, and it’s moving with great power. I sense the danger in entering its flow.
“Are you ready to plunge into its depths with Me?”
Lord, I’m afraid to enter. It will carry me away. I won’t have the strength to get out.
“There is no ‘getting out’ once you plunge into the depths with Me.”
Lord, I’m afraid.
“Take My hand, Beloved and walk with Me. I will not leave you. I will be here to help you and give you strength.”
I take His hand, and we step out on the water. We are walking on water, and we aren’t sinking. Instead, it carries us like the conveyor walkways at the airport. We are covering territory quickly.
“Do you see the advantage of being with Me on the River?”
Yes, Lord, it’s easy to travel and effortless.
“Stand still and see the salvation of your God. Even when you are standing still, when you are with Me, progress is being made. Rest in My love for you. Rest in My will. We are moving forward more quickly than you realize. I’ve been waiting for you and Mike to say, “Yes.” There are miles to go before you sleep Beloved. This river, is My River of love, My River of joy, My River of life. In Me, you live and move and have your being. We are on the River but the River is also in you, and you are in it. My River is My will. This partnership is the ultimate River dance.”
The Tabernacles teaching went forward without a hitch, and it was well received. We held it in our home, another fulfillment of prophetic promises. Sixteen people came. It was small in number, but rich in teaching and fellowship.
Later, in November, I attended a Kathy Walters conference in Stockton at the Father’s House. I could only be there for one day, but it turned out to be a divine appointment.
The teaching was relaxed and powerful and as I gazed over the congregation, I saw a young woman. The second I saw her, I felt a heart connection. I didn’t know her. We had to leave early. I didn’t have time to connect with her face to face. I was disappointed.
The next day, my neighbor, Mary Jean, offered to drive me down to her church. Their food distribution program they had for the homeless interested me. I was hoping to get involved.
We pulled into the church parking lot and got out of the car. At that very moment, a big white SUV drove in and stopped in front of us. Out jumped the young woman I’d see at the conference. Almost at the same moment, we asked each other, “Were you at the Kathy Walter’s meeting yesterday?”
We laughed. Heidi, that was her name. She was a tall, beautiful young woman with long wavy golden hair. Her eyes sparkled with the Life that she carried. “I’m here to pick up some other ladies to head back for day two,” she said.
Heidi and I met again at the Good Samaritan Church Christmas Eve service. Her family came and sat next to me on the same pew. We exchanged phone numbers at that point since it appeared that God intended for us to know each other. And so, began a blessed friendship.
2010 ended, and Mike and I had our baskets full of blessings. God was outdoing Himself, and we could only wonder what the next year would bring.
~~How About You? ~~
Don’t you wonder when you begin to see the promises unfold, after waiting and waiting? Aren’t you surprised how they come together? Are you surprised too by the fact that they never come together as you imagined?
Truly, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
I often hear myself repeating the words of the disciples out of Mark 7:37, “He does all things well.”
He brings the time, the people, the circumstances together in perfect sync. There is no other God like Him. There is no other man like Him either. Aren’t you glad He is our Abba? We are so blessed.