A sign of the times

The end is definitely nigh

Writing about any crisis is difficult. I am not a medic, nor a scientist, nor a historian. I read a few reports, even the horrendous statistics in Spain (though thankfully improving) but have not talked first hand to someone in Spain who has had the virus. It is easy to write when it has not been in your home. I do know people who have had it and recovered, I also know (not know of, but know) people who have passed away from the virus. So at times writing seems a cheap and easy thing to do, and maybe it is.

I am glad I am not a politician. Open up, get the economy back; keep it shut down the risks are too high. It can be easy to say, typical money over people. But in this world life is a compromise. Choices are of what is the better / best choice looking forward. Or in more theological language ‘what is the most redemptive choice we can make.’ With faith in Jesus, and eyes and voice raised heavenward that is not easy, so for those who do not profess faith and probably do not really believe in any help from heaven this is a time of huge crisis that they are seeking to help steer us through.

‘It is a sign of the times’. Read Matthew 24, and that wonderful future predicting book, the last one. Read it and how can you not join the dots. The end is nigh, for sure, this time. Well it is not an unexpected response. Remember Y2k? Computers will crash, airplanes will fall. Stock up, make sure you have enough beans (did we ever get a thank you from Heinz?). I am glad for the prophets who later apologised. Yet it got many people. Add to the Y2k that the earth is 6000 years old (splutter, splutter!!!!!). 1000 years as a day and… oh yes there is that final 1000 years at the end. Quickly count the fingers. The year 2000 and a crisis.

In my youth the writer who explained all things was Hal Lindsey. His books were fascinating. But so many signs of the times, so much so that 1988 was going to be absolutely cataclysmic, and certainly he had no expectation of being around for the millennial celebrations as the year 2000 rolled in – the blessed rapture would have seen to that, the ultimate ticket out of here! [A cheap comment that is just that… but one I adhere to. The secret rapture was such a close guarded secret that not even a whisper got out to any New Testament writer.]

All of this signs of the times of course is not new. Martin Luther, Christopher Columbus… and the writers who lived when Napoleon was marching around Europe had a field day; not to mention the days of Hitler, the rise of communism… and so it goes on.

By all means refer to the Bible to get some guidelines as to how we should respond in a time of crisis, but I just don’t think it wise to try to get the pen out with a ‘look here it is, written here some x-thousand years ago’ and then draw a line to ‘and here is what was predicted’. A little reading of history and the odds are so stacked against anyone coming close to getting it right are so high.

But a sign? For sure. A sign that creation eventually calls a halt to the abuse that those who are responsible for it have messed up. Will we take note of the sign? (And I have for some time said there is something / some things combining that will have a far greater impact in 2022.

We have entered a new era, or maybe much better to suggest we are entering a new era as it is not happening in a moment, maybe over a decade there could be a clear before and after.

Scripture says that God makes all things beautiful in its time (Eccl. 3). Does not mean that all times are beautiful, but God is working to pull something through in all times. I do not see this time as some form of judgement in any sense that might suggest God has said, ‘I’ve had enough’. And it does not mean that this time is going to be easy.

For entrepreneurs it is such a new time. The journey for former entrepreneurs might be drawn on to find some pointers but the world is changing, and entrepreneurs now are not simply going to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before, they are pioneering for a new world.

There are great surprises coming with regard to where we see the Spirit at work. A while ago I spoke of three phases of any outpouring: immediate, generational and then those ‘afar off’. I think it can also be put into the big picture of Asuza Street (and the immediate years before), the charismatic into the historic churches some 60 or so years later, and then another 60 years on and here we are. Surprises, and some of what has got us here (‘we have never eaten anything unclean’) will be challenged, and not challenged in a gentle manner.

My post then is hopefully gentle. We are not exempt from difficulty. Those who survive are not the ‘goodies’ and all other ‘baddies’. We are all contributing to the future in these days. There is an era passing and a new one here. I think it is fruitless to look back to find these days in the Bible, and as we look forward we can only see as if we are looking through obscure glass.

True north and a bear

Lee Ann Thompson highlighted this article that was published in the Gaurdian on August 30th:

Compasses to point true north for first time in 360-years

It begins with:

At some point over the next two weeks, compasses at Greenwich will point true north for the first time in about 360 years.

This will have ‘no impact on daily life’ the article states, though it is certainly ‘a once-in-a-lifetime event’. And ever so interesting and impacting for us. So I embark on a winding story, and I will keep it brief!

In 2018 we were with Lee Ann and numerous other people in Prague, invited by Cathrine Novotna, where there was a strong focus on shifting or aligning time for Europe. Many aspects seemed to come together and alongside immediate and ensuing signs a survey was sent out to EU countries as to what time they wished to be on. Ever so significant.

Three months later we were with a group called ORCAS (Orkney, Caithness and Shetland) who are seeking to take responsibility for the north of Scotland where they are based. It was great to be there – and for me of course having been born there it was unique. During the conference there was input from Bert McKaig who said the purpose of the people gathered was to set true north. That word penetrated our ears and hearts, and we took it on board for our own situation since. True words of that nature (nearly?) always have a sign that follows, the sign pointing to and re-enforcing the reality AND DRAWING THE REALITY TO THE SIGN.

Our prayer for the year since that word for our own situation has been for Madrid to align to true north, so that Spain will be aligned and we know that Spain is to line up in a direction that will enable there to be total right alignment across Europe. Gayle bought me a compass earring as a daily sign; I had my back tattooed with the words ‘true north’, something that goes back to November 2013 and understanding how even the current Catalan situation has to be resolved with a right alignment of Madrid… Then lo and behold the compass earring was lost. OK I lost it, coming clean I cannot blame the earring for that. I do have a birthday once a year and Gayle had ordered me two new earrings. A new compass earring, and a silver bear (the symbol of Madrid is the bear). Interestingly the bear arrived first so in it went with some great prayer from Gayle.

Growing up with clear skies – other than when the rain was present in abundance! – one learned early on to know where north was. Find the bear, follow the two final stars on the right and there is ‘true north’, the pole star. The bear leads you to find true north.

We have been praying for Madrid to find true north. A good prayer, and over the past year – read the last post – Spain has seemed to align in every direction other than true north. Hence extreme personal insult. Now there is a further element… Madrid be the bear you are meant to be. The statue in the middle of Madrid is called ‘el oso y el madroño’ – the bear and the strawberry tree. But the bear is not really el oso (male) but la osa – the female / mother bear. Likewise the the great bear constellation in Latin is the female bear.

There is something BIG happenning at this time. The sign is pushing us:

  • True north aligned at Greenwich (the place of time measurement).
  • True north is shifting eastward – there is a shift from the dominance of the Western mind-set. Intuition not simply academic.
  • The restoration of the feminine is key to enable us to find true north.

I wrote in the last post that it has been a challenging year (understatement!) but that does not make it a bad year. It raises questions of course, and the key questions will always be about whether we have missed something along the way or could have done more. There are many more bumps in the road coming these next months, and as I wrote that this morning in an email response to someone I saw that we (corporate we) have to learn how to ride a ‘hover board’. Follow the terrain but also be elevated above the terrain. We must follow what is happening but not dictated to by all the ups and downs.

Western democracy is creaking. Old institutions are being used to abuse, for the beastliness is coming out in force, that beastliness that dehumanises. The beast receives a voice (Revelation, so that there is only one voice that is heard – think about how the huge wrong alignments are silencing the voices of diversity at this time), but the Spirit gives to one and all so that ‘they all began to speak’.

I have been reflecting on the dream of the shift from 2010 to 2020 with the see-saw eventually balanced. The end of a decade and a level playing field, but I suggest opening the way for a ‘game’ to be played over not one but the next two decades. we were reflecting on this yesterday and noticed today in the Guardian article:

By 2040, all compasses will probably point eastwards of true north.

Signs point… and signs pull… Time and direction.

Quirky Theology

OK if someone else had said that about my theology I would really take exception to it as it is ever so hard for me to think when I have been in any way quirky… and to imagine that I have ever got something wrong? But as I have put the title up there myself I must find a way of being happy with it and justifying that quirky does not mean wrong! OK one meaningless paragraph is probably enough per post so moving on quickly…

There are some quirks of practice in Scripture that really stretches theological understanding. Such as Jacob and his streaky wood seemingly determining the outcome of the DNA of the animals born. Just strange, yet that action provoked me to do something (a little more sensible) and it opened up some new relationships almost immediately. So my suggestion for today is that:

  • often in strategic prayer there will be a manifestation of what we are praying for in our personal circumstances.
  • The benefit of which is it gives us a leverage point to shift things both personally and strategically.
  • We can get a breakthrough personally but miss the bigger issue – and vice-versa.
  • Or by the grace of God get both issues to shift.
  • (The downside is it can be a real pain in the proverbials.)

I could give many examples of this but will restrict myself to one. Before that a couple of biblical backdrops. Jesus entering the wilderness for 40 days is essentially a re-visiting of the 40 years of the people in the desert. His meditations are from the Scriptures related to that period of time. This illustrates the immense leverage effect: 40 days to undo 40 years. Ezekiel is both instructed to build a model and then to lie down a day for each year of corporate sin:

Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side.I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel.

After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year (Ezek. 4:4-7).

It is not unusual for prophetic intercession to involve symbolism. In Scripture symbolism accomplishes two things:

  • It points to the reality, and (more importantly)
  • it draws the reality (or the solution to the problem) to itself.

OK the example. Toward the end of 2013 I ruptured a disc in my back, resulting in a significant loss of mobility and pain, the most focused and extreme of which was in my right ankle. We tackled the issue in prayer and before long began to sense that the physical issue was in part a reflection of what needed re-alignment in Spain. We also then began to pray for a re-alignment of the spine of Spain. This went on in this way for the next 2 months, without too much of a shift in my lower back issue. Then in the following month I woke with a waking vision (these seem very important and are easy to miss) of a man lying on his back across Spain. I printed off a map from google maps and drew the man on the map where I saw him lying. I was shocked – his right ankle was exactly over where we were living, the problem disc was exactly over Madrid. There were many other key aspects such as where his head was (the place where new thinking was to come from), where his right and left arms were placed. We have acted on the vision and travelled to those places.

The vision gave insight beyond straightening the spine of the nation. The source of pain was from the centre, the pain might be found in the extremities but the change had to take place in the centre. This has further fuelled our move to Madrid and prayers for the judiciary and politics (in particular).

We then could notice the parallels between my physical experience and the shape of the land. For example, the moment (and I mean moment) that the Madrid central government announced that the referendum in Cataluña was illegal my back went out once again – I was not moving but simply sitting upright in a chair at the time. Freaky… quirky theology!

This battle continued until… I hesitate to write this as ‘solutions’ often become laws rather than ‘we heard God and did this in response’. This is one of our challenges with Scripture. Do we walk 7 times round an area because we heard God or because we know the Jericho story? Anyway hesitation over. We understood there was now a time for a change. My back no longer to mirror Spain, but Spain my back. That is the leverage point in these symbolic (signorific) scenarios. How do you change the alignment in something larger? God will give a leverage point close to home.

I also did one more thing. I had a compass tattooed on my back over the disc that was the problem (Madrid) and an arrow on my spine saying ‘true north’. (To lose one’s way in Spanish is ‘perdir el norte’ – to lose north.) Does that make a difference? Well if Jacob can use wood artistically I am up for a little quirk here and there.

My encouragement then is not to try to see everything as a sign, but to be open to that possibility. If it is a sign seek to go for both issues – the personal and the corporate that you are connected to. And if you get neither breakthrough all alignment to heaven has value, not simply when we get the outcome we are looking for. And in those kind of alignments the leverage effect shifts more than we realise.

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