The World Convention was glorious and life-changing for many. The worship was heavenly, the atmosphere was holy, and the speakers brought messages from the heart of our Father.
Last year, we were so busy after the World Convention that we never got around to writing a 3rd Quarter Letter, but only put out a 3rd and 4th Quarter Letter in the fall. This time, when we arrived home, we realized that it was vitally important to communicate with you via the Quarterly Letter. We also knew that we were hitting the road earlier than usual to head to Canada to be with some of our First Nations Handmaidens—Nellie Munro, Doreen Campbell, and others. So the Lord gave us grace to produce the 3rd Quarter Letter. Philip finished folding it just before we left. It will be assembled next week and get out on its way to you with a full report about the World Convention.
Stretching: I remember many years ago, Sister Gwen brought the word of the Lord to us that He was calling us to stretch. I took that word into my spirit and lived in a tremendous grace to be able to go beyond what I had dreamed I could do. We went on our annual spring tour as Sister Gwen‘s road crew going from regional convention to regional convention, we had to hang flags, set up the book table, lead the worship, duplicate cassette tapes, make the labels, sell the books and tapes, then pack up and go to the next meeting and do it all over again. When we would get home from that ministry tour, we would hit the ground running to do all the printing of books, programs, and all the other things that we needed for the Convention.
That particular year, immediately following the World Convention, we got into the van and drove across country to set up for the Christian Booksellers Association Convention. Sadly, there wasn’t much anointing at that place, but we were still carrying the glory from the World Convention, and managed to maintain.
Somehow I had it in my mind that once we got past the Booksellers Convention that the pressure would let up—but it didn’t. There was no real break in the work. I begin to feel like I couldn’t go on. So, nearly in tears, I went to Sister Gwen and whined, “I don’t think I can stretch anymore!”
She looked at me with that eagle-eyed, prophetic visage, pointed her finger at me, and said, “You can stretch limitlessly if you keep your spirit right!”
Her words went into my spirit like a fiery wind, and burned up the self-pity! It was like the Holy Spirit put something into my backbone to give me the strength to go beyond the natural and walk in His supernatural capacity for endurance. I have lived by that motto ever since, and it’s true that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)!
Philip recently asked me how we managed to do all that. And while it is true that we were younger then, I said to him that it’s because we kept our spirits right. When you keep your spirit right, your trust is anchored in the Almighty.
As Etienne Blom reminded us at the World Convention, our motive has to be that we do whatever we do out of our First Love for the Lord. It’s like watching a young couple who have fallen in love with each other—they will do for that loved one what they never would have done for anyone else. Love makes you do things that are beyond your own strength. So we remember that Jesus taught us that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. And when you love Him with all your strength, He pours more strength into you!
It is such a delight to serve Him! The place where we have to urge caution, however, is that in all of the busyness and expending of supernatural strength, we must practice the Presence of God. The supernatural strength comes out of the Glory of His Presence. That’s where the miracles begin. When we do what we do out of loving obedience (we do what we see our Father doing), it gives Him the opportunity to shine!
Let us have for our motive the desire to know Him and to make Him known from a First Love perspective.
Heading North: And so, we head north in loving obedience to our First Love, renewed in strength and endurance by that great love for Him, not because we love Him, but because He first loved us!
Someone had prophesied to us about this trip, that we would be going “off the map.” While we were still in the planning stages of this trip, we were staying with a couple who got out their atlas to see where we were going. In that particular mapping, the places we are going were, indeed, off the map to the north.
Before we got married, Bob Guzman looked at us and said, “I see the two of you in cold-weather gear.” That was more than 38 years ago. This is still summer, so it won’t be that cold up there, but perhaps this is the beginning of something else that God has in mind.
We will be live streaming this week from Enoch Farm in Elkton, South Dakota, the home of Steve and Karen Nelson and many of the Crevier family. We hope that you will join us on YouTube for that event. God willing, we hope and plan to broadcast from wherever we are on this trip in the coming weeks. We plan to be back at the Ozark Glory Tabernacle for August 16.
Changes: We received a strong word at the World Convention that God wants to give this ministry a “facelift”, that He wants to bring forth new things with increase. Of course, in His faithfulness, he has been preparing a number of us for a change.
As of Saturday, Quintessa Lawrence, who has been doing many, many things in Engeltal, will be stepping out in faith to begin a new chapter in her life. She will be moving to Texas to begin studying at the King’s University. We will miss her greatly! But we know that she is obeying God, and we certainly bless her in that.
One of the most important tasks that Quintessa has been doing is taking my writings, Gene’s writings, prayer requests, and other items of interest, and assembling them into our bi-monthly Prayer Letter. Then she would print them and several staff members would sit together and fold and stuff them into envelopes, label them, and get them into the mail for you. Then she would take the same material and make it into an email for those who receive it by email.
At the moment, everyone on the staff is already stretching beyond capacity and we don’t have anyone to fully take on Quintessa’s duty for the paper Prayer Letter. So we are taking this from the hand of the Lord that He wants us to change our method. We don’t really know what the next prayer letter is going to look like, but we know that it needs to be sent out only via email. If you receive this Prayer Letter through the US Mail, we urge you to go to our website (or have a friend or loved one who is willing to help you with it) and click on the green subscribe button. You can choose which of the lists that you want to receive: the Quarterly Letter, the Prayer Letter (twice a month), General Interest (2 to 4 times per week), and/or the Emergency Prayer Requests list (as needed). You have control over which list, or lists you want to be on, and you can change it at any time. There is a link for that at the bottom of every email that we send out so that you can customize what you receive from us as you will.
God is in the process of maneuvering His people into the places where He needs us to be. Don’t be afraid of change! Embrace Him in it, and watch Him orchestrate great and mighty things that we know not of!
Thank you for your prayers and support. We had a $12,500 deficit the expenses of the World Convention, so we are asking you as our intercessors to join us in prayer and trust. Nothing is too hard for our God!
Your handmaiden and servant,
Sharon and Philip