Systemic Change

12 “Don’t regard as alliance what this people calls alliance,
and don’t fear what they fear or be awestruck by it;
13 but Adonai-Tzva’ot — consecrate him!
Let him be the object of your fear and awe!

Isaiah 8:12-13

The time is coming when Ya‘akov will take root;
Isra’el will bud and flower,
and fill the whole world with a harvest.

Isaiah 27:6

9 Adonai will be king
over the whole world.
On that day Adonai will be the only one,
and his name will be the only name.

Zechariah 14:9

"The problem was systemic but the response was individual, based on a few caring people and their personal outrage at the selling and trafficking of children."

Rachel Lloyd in "Girls Like Us"

sys•tem•ic
 (sɪˈstɛm ɪk) 
adj.
1. of or pertaining to a system.
2. pertaining to, affecting, or circulating through the entire body: systemic disease; systemic pesticide.

What started as a "few caring people" has been slowly but surely making a difference and it is time for us to recognize that we are part of something bigger.  The problems we are called to intersect are in fact systemic: devaluing of life, devaluing of our sexuality, defrauding of childhood, demoralizing of character and defiling of the true nature of God.  This being said, when we are working, NOT to fulfill our individual call and destiny, but rather in obedience to do our part, we can trust that the Lord is working and moving to shift the tide of nations.  We have been working with one life at a time to offer hope, the experience of healthy family and loving relationships and to impact generations to come...this is the ground level work of "systemic change."  

We dare to espouse that the young woman, her family of origin and a child in her womb have value.  Value given by the Creator not by status, experience, or contribution.  We dare to uphold biblical values: love, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control [against such things there is NO law. Galatians 5:22-23].  We dare to ecourage abstinence until marriage and hold out hope for the hearts of fathers to turn to their children and the hearts of the children to turn to their fathers. Malachi 4:6]  We dare to believe that our hope and salvation come from the Lord and not from our own efforts.

We do all this as part of a larger vision, with a promise that the cry of God's people is heard, the work that we do has value and meaning and that with our eyes fixed on Jesus we are part of systemic change...change we will see, fruit that will last and lives that will be restored.

May you catch a glimpse of the change agent that you are!  May you know that the father's love at work in you is making a difference! 

May you not stop crying out for change!

  

Safe Connection

 

1 Corinthians 15:22 (CJB)

22 For just as in connection with Adam all die, so in connection with the Messiah all will be made alive.

 

Connection drives relationship and restoration.  There is no real path to healing without relationship.  Continuing to try and find "new life" in connections that lead to death are not based on trust and will not lead to life.  When someone encounters Jesus in relationship with you the connection to life has been offered.

Sometimes it seems we put our hope in our program, platform or performance to be able to provide what is needed to help another walk through the process of healing.  We have the education, the resources, the funds but NOTHING will lead someone to LIFE apart from connection to the Messiah. The Messiah is the "fragrance" that draws all men to himself [2 Corinthians 2:14]

True healing and change come only through relationship and then through the trials and refining that are experienced over time. Connection is not made, forced, or mass produced...each person will only find healing through individual relationship and that takes the work of building trust and connection.  This takes the experience of being loved unconditionially after a failure, of being welcomed back after a rejection, learning new ways to understand and communicate, seeing words backed with action; it takes vulnerability, empathy and compassion.

We are the "connector" to the Messiah that brings the dead to life...We unlock the "power of connection" through the key of building relationships based on trust...We are offered this example through the life of Jesus and are called to walk it out.

John 13:15(CJB)

15 For I have set you an example, so that you may do as I have done to you.

 

May you know the power of connection to the Messiah!  May you be willing to patiently build relationships that lead to life!

May you live out this example in every area of your life and ministry!

 

 

Woman Ruins

Isaiah 58:12(CJB)

12 You will rebuild the ancient ruins,
raise foundations from ages past,
and be called “Repairer of broken walls,
Restorer of streets to live in.”

 

The promise of Isaiah 58 is foundational in my journey and the "Why I do what I do".  It is on this premise that I have joined my heart with yours to bring encouragement and a reminder of the hope that we have even as we are spread out and spearated as it says in Nehemiah 4.

 

 13(19)“This is a great work, and it is spread out; we are separated on the wall, one far from another. 14 (20) But wherever you are, when you hear the sound of the shofar, come to that place, to us. Our God will fight for us!”

 

The picture of what those returning to Jerusalem faced as they set their will to rebuild the wall is not unlike our call and work as we each, at our post along the wall, are in this to rebuild.  We are builders, repariers, warriors spurred on by the love of Christ fighting for our families, communities and those bound in the darkness.  Can you imagine with me what will be accomplished as we continue the efforts to "work with a will" together?

 

Nehemiah 3:38 

38 (4:6) So we kept building the wall, which was soon joined together and completed to half its height all the way around; because the people worked with a will.

Nehemiah 4:8 

...“Don’t be afraid of them! Remember Adonai, who is great and fearful; and fight for your brothers, sons, daughters, wives and homes.”

 

 This is why I write.  This is why I seek to build relationship and be part of the great collaborative efforts the Lord has been building.  We are together in the work of dispelling darkness and setting prisoners free.  I am honored to work alongside of you and pray that you will be encouraged in your place, have courage to hold your position, and hope that you are not working in vain.

May you work with a will!   May you remember Adonai is great and fearful and fighting for us!

May your eyes be open to see [that even though we are separated on the wall] the wall is being joined together and it will be completed!

Remain.Resist

 

2 Timothy 4:5 (CJB)

But you, remain steady in every situation, endure suffering, do the work that a proclaimer of the Good News should, and do everything your service to God requires.

 

Remain in place, I have a job for you right where you are at.

Do not be intimidated.

Love well.

Resist shrinking back, looking back, shutting down.

The hardening.

The pride.

Return to me, to simple childlike faith, laughter and love.

To first love.

To childlike joy.

This is the encouragement I heard dropped in my spirit over the weekend. When I look at the voices around me and as I go deeper into the reality of sex trafficking after years of maternity housing [walking and living with Hagar] I find it hard not to be upended by the constant waves of sorrow, anger, and frustration.  It is as if I started in a battle filled with courage, hope and strength alongside of a growing army and after years of battle, I have lost sight of those fighting alongside of me and have seen many casualties on the battlefied.  It seems the wounded, the injured, and those defecting outnumber the hands to care, to pray and to love.  It seems those wanting rescue and who I am fighting for are no where to be found.

Is there anyone who loves the Lord with all their heart, their mind and soul and is willing to stay in the fight?  

Is there anyone who values life from conception to death and is willing to live this out in their personal experience? 

Is it a battle where I belong?

And so, as a reminder the Lord so graciously says to me that yes, yes there are others that He has set aside just as he had the prophets throughout the land in the time of Elijah.  Yes, there are others living out lives of love, honoring marriage and the sacredness of sexuality and giving others alternatives for themselves and their children.  Yes the fight, even if  for one, is worth fighting and this is where I will remain.

 

Colossians 2:6-7 (CJB)

Therefore, just as you received the Messiah Yeshua as Lord, keep living your life united with him. Remain deeply rooted in him; continue being built up in him and confirmed in your trust, the way you were taught, so that you overflow in thanksgiving.

 

May you remain in the place the Lord has you!  May you resist the enemy so he will flee!  May you return and settle in trusting Jesus!

You are loved.  You are wanted. You are valued.

 

 

Before Dawn

Exodus 14:24 (CJB)

24 Just before dawnAdonai looked out on the Egyptian army through the column of fire and cloud and threw them into a panic.

Psalm 30:6 (CJB)

(5) For his anger is momentary,
but his favor lasts a lifetime.
Tears may linger for the night,
but with dawn come cries of joy.

2 Peter 1:19 (CJB)

19 Yes, we have the prophetic Word made very certain. You will do well to pay attention to it as to a light shining in a dark, murky place, until the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts.

 

Just before dawn is said to be the darkest time of the day and in this sense is used to describe the hardest season or moment when walking through an ongoing struggle, waiting for breakthrough or holding out in faith.  Just before dawn comes the momentary sense that just maybe the day will not come.  It is in this season, this moment that hope seems lost and that  perhaps the fight was all for nothing.  How many times have I come to this moment and yielded to fear, turned back or stopped listening for the leading of the Holy Spirit?

Over the years I have walked with many young women and found "just before dawn" to be an overwhelming and daunting place to walk alongside of them.  How many times have I heard someone say "it is just too hard" just before seeing a success and refusing to move forward?  How many times have I heard someone say "it is too painful and hurts too much" just before they experience the hope of forgiveness and choose to continue in broken relationship?  How many times have I heard someone say " I just can't wait" just before the next step is in place and choose to walk away?  Understanding the reality of the struggle of  "just before dawn" is perhaps the most vital to keep moving forward and remain faitihful to enter the battle again and again.  In my passion for Jesus and seeing others know and experience His love I too can yield to the thought "why bother", "no one wants what I have to offer",  "no one will press through with me", ..."I cannot wait".

How many times have I missed Adonai at work "just before dawn"?  How many times have I given into despair instead of the joy that comes in the morning? 

How many times have I stopped listening for the leading of His Spirit?

May you see Adonai at work on your behalf "just before dawn"!  May you experience the joy that comes in the morning! 

May you remain attentive to the revleation of the Holy Spirit as He brings to light the Morning Star in your heart!