I realized today I start a lot of posts with “Just back from….” and that this one’s no different, so here I go! Just back from a women’s conference in Lancaster (“Beautiful One”, another Global conference). The speakers were Patricia King, Stacey Campbell, Trisha Frost, Theresa Dedmon, and Sheri Hess. I had hoped to go but realized a couple of weeks ago that I really couldn’t justify another conference (fees, hotel, and meals add up to a lot). But then about an hour or so after I resigned myself to not going I got a call from someone asking if I’d help run the cameras, that I could stay with her in her room and didn’t have to worry about the meals! What a huge blessing! So I went, and I’m glad I did.
I always get a nugget or two from a conference but I realized this morning that though I’d heard some great teaching I didn’t feel that I’d heard what God had specifically for me. That was before Julie Meyer spoke! I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something about her heart that just draws me in. She’s so abandoned to God and so very real with other people. She doesn’t try to paint herself as some sort of saint, but openly shares her struggles and trials, successes and failures, and does so in a way that gives me the handles I need to remember the truths she’s imparting. That way would be through word pictures. She spoke today about how God kneads us, how He gave her a vision of a golden loaf of bread and then told her she was the bread. That’s great, but bread starts as dough and has to be kneaded and then placed in a very hot oven! Whether it be bread or clay, the Master presses us and turns us inside out on ourselves as He molds and shapes us. It can be a very unpleasant experience, and she shared some of what that “kneading” in her own life looked like.
She also spoke about God’s favor being like a Ferris wheel. We love being on top, but if you’re going for a ride you won’t be there for long! There are mountains and valleys, highs and lows, and people sometimes choose to take up an offense when they’re at the bottom and get off rather than humble themselves and have Him lift them up again. That’s probably really messing up what she said, but it was the general gist. Then after she spoke Dave Hess, a local pastor, came up and said a few words and prayed. As I bought the DVD set, I transcribed it and post it below…
You are His beautiful ones. His beautiful ones! The word that Isaiah used for beautiful, when he talked about those who have beautiful feet on the mountains of influence, the word he used for beautiful means “at home, at the right place, at the right time.” You’re at the right place at the right time. And as your brother, I will tell you that our Father has been kneading and baking His sons. I never quite knew what to do with babies as a man because they were always, especially newborns, they were always limp and leaky. And thirty years ago my first child came into the world and our little girl wrapped her little hand around my little finger, and I discovered something inside of me that I never knew I had. It’s called a daddy gland, and it exploded that day, and it just filled me with such a love for this little girl. And in that moment, something rose up inside of me that there’s been great injustice in the world and in the body of Christ, and I looked at my little girl, and I said, “Honey with all of the grace of Jesus, and all the strength I have, I will see to that it that you do not live as a second-class citizen in the body of Christ, that you don’t–under the banner of submission–quench who you are, quench who the Holy Spirit is stirring you up to be.”
What the Lord is doing in these days Malachi prophesied. He said, “In the last days there will be a turning of hearts,” and the word he uses for turning means “to get back to its original purpose.” And the original purpose our Father, our Papa had for us when He looked at the first son and the first daughter, He looked at both of them and said, “Let them rule. Let them rule.” And so what the Father is kneading out of us as His sons is the false notion that if we give our sisters responsibility that that fulfills the heart of God when the Father’s called us not only to walk in responsibility but authority to give, there’s a mutual authority that’s been given to sons and daughters. This family needs fathers to be fathers, but it needs mothers to be mothers. And so we’re all in His bread machine, but my what He’s going to serve!
So I tell you today, I repent for all the brothers who have placed their sisters in the sidecar while they drove the motorcycle and said it’s equality when we’ve been called to be like two wings of a plane, and you can’t fly without one. We need you. We need you to be a full-orbed expression of Jesus. I cannot imagine the world without a Julie Meyer. I cannot imagine the body of Christ without a Julie Meyer. I could not imagine my life without Sheri. (Note, at this point Sheri yells: “That’s my man!” followed by much laughter!) My, my. I’m glad she’s coming out of her shell! Shoobedobedo. Well, so I, I want to pray for you, I’m gonna try to, I’m gonna try real hard to pray for you because I represent a whole lot of brothers who are being baked in the oven, and we get an opportunity to correct a deep injustice. And I believe this is part of the bride getting ready. So I love you, I need you, I ask you to forgive us. Let’s give it a new shot together and see what this looks like. There will be bumps on this journey, we’ll be in different places on the Ferris wheel, but it’s really, really worth it to work this out together. It’s really, really worth it to work this out together. So I just want to pray for you.
Papa, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for a Kingdom where sons and daughters have a place. They have a place not simply to do a relegated assignment but to walk in the authority entrusted to us by Jesus. So I thank you today for my sisters. And Father, I ask that they would know their identities so firmly rooted and grounded in You, they would hear Your songs and dance with You as You dance over them. That they would know that there’s a place in Your heart that is so deeply cherished and valued, they would know that, a love so, so strong that every fear and lie doesn’t stand a chance. Let them know it. And Father, I pray that my sisters may know that it’s not just okay to come out of hiding, but it’s necessary! It’s necessary for you to receive the glory that’s due Your name for them to stand together. And that desire in Your heart, Papa, that day when you looked at that newly formed son and daughter you said, “Rule, rule, rule! Fill the earth, fill the earth, fill the earth!” that you would show us and teach us how to rule together and how to rule well. In Jesus’ name. So every dream, every bit of destiny in my sisters’ hearts, rise up in Jesus’ name! Rise up, rise up, rise up in Jesus’ name, all to His glory!
Wow. I didn’t try to stop the tears, and neither did a number of other women. I needed to hear that more than I knew. Or is it kneaded to hear that :)