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Our previous teaching series was about to wind down. So I began asking the Lord what He would like me to do next. Did He want me to write a new teaching series (and if so what topic should I teach on)? Or did He want me to resurrect one of the excellent lessons that was taught on the prophetic-school several years ago and repeat it?
God's answer sort of surprised me, because He did not want me to do either. Instead, He wanted me to do something similar to what I have done on the prayer school with the 'Thoughts From Teresa' and 'Ask Teresa' series. Both of those were not a pre-written series on a given topic, but new material on a week-by-week basis, with a wide range of topics.
'Thoughts From Teresa' was a series of one-lesson teachings on many different topics--whatever the Lord put on my heart each week. Some of them would have probably never been covered by a more formal teaching series, but needed to be talked about.
That series was neat because the weekly topics were Spirit-led and turned out to be timely and relevant for a lot of people in the school. Of course, it is a bit scary to write a fresh lesson each week instead of having a complete series prepared in advance. Why was it scary? Because there are times when I have bad or dry weeks where I don't feel all that spiritual, but I still have to hear from God and put out a lesson each Monday. That forced me to really depend on God to write that kind of weekly series and it stretched my faith.
As I said, the folks in the school really loved it because Spirit-led teaching was usually timely/relevant to a lot of people. But it was more work for me because I had to write a fresh lesson each and every week. In fact, God had some fun with me on it. There were many weeks that He would not tell me what to write on until Monday Morning--the lessons went out on Mondays, as did my weekly prophetic word for the prophetic- word list. That made Mondays a really busy day for me. But it also made Mondays a day where God spoke to me a great deal. Each Monday was almost like a work-date with God.
The other series, 'Ask Teresa,' was a question-and-answer series. School members would send me questions pertinent to the school and I would answer them. It was sort of like a Spirit-filled "Dear Abby" on Christian topics. That is scary to write as well. Many times when I got a question, I did not know what the right answer was. I had to seek the Lord for wisdom for that situation and then write down what He showed me as the weekly teaching. It was a bit scary, but it was also fun, because I really liked how smart God was. I loved the practical wisdom that He gave me to answer people's questions. At times I felt a little bit of what I imagine that Solomon must have felt as God's wisdom flowed forth from him.
So I asked God, "Ok, which one is it going to be like? Will it be like 'Thoughts From Teresa' or will it be like 'Ask Teresa?'"
"A little bit of both," God answered.
"Ok, Lord, and what shall I call this teaching series?"
As if in answer, the Lord recalled something strongly to my memory. It came to me in a flash, but I will need to spend some time filling you in on what God reminded me of, or the next part won't make sense to you.
One of the GodSpeak Board members is named Jim Paul. He lives in Canada and he is a pastor of a Church in Ontario. Jim had gone through a personal crisis with the Lord that drove him to really pray and seek God. One day he fasted and would not leave his prayer closet (his living room) for about ten hours. Then God broke through and met him in a dramatic and powerful way. God showed up tangibly in the room to speak with Jim. It was an awesome and terrifying experience for him, and it resulted in God giving him an extremely powerful word for the body of Christ.
Here is the interesting part. Jim was in his living room the day after this dramatic encounter with God and an angel showed up to talk to him. The angel also showed up the next day and the next, and Jim found himself having angelic encounters with God on a daily basis. He told me about it on the phone shortly before Christmas. If was as if there was an "open heaven" right in his living room. I was jealous (a godly type of jealousy) and I wanted to have powerful encounters with God as well. I had been going through a dry period and talking to Jim made me really hungry for more of God.
I teasingly told Jim that I was half tempted to jump on a plane and come seek God in his living room. Jim said, "Come, we'd love to have you." So we began talking logistics. As it turned out, between our two schedules, it was a whole month before I could come. I was a bit afraid that the daily angelic visitations might be over by then, but logistics made it impossible to come sooner. I talked to Jim about a week or two before my flight and asked him if the angels were still coming every day. He said no, but I should come up anyhow because God wanted to meet me and do some things in my life. Jim also invited me to preach at his church. So I got on the plane and flew to Canada, seeking for God to give me an angelic encounter or a divine visitation.
God never did meet me in that way, but He did meet me. It was a great spiritual retreat for me. Among other things, there was a pastor's conference going on at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and I got to attend part of that and got filled and blessed. I also had a lot of quality prayer time alone with God in Jim's living room. God did not meet me the way He met Jim, but He did meet me a great deal. None of it involved an angel appearing to me. Instead God met me the way God way that He normally meets me.
There was another thing that I got out of the trip that turned out to be quite a blessing for me. Jim is one of those people who I sometimes go to for mentoring, advice, etc. When I get stumped in some area of the prophetic, Jim is the one I usually ask. When the Lord starts to meet me in some new way that sort of "freaks me out," Jim is the one I debrief with to make sure that was really God. So I think of Jim as a mentor.
I got to spend a lot of time with Jim. We had some really great chats in his living room with a fire blazing in his fireplace. Some of there were Jim sharing inspirational testimonies, some were relationship- building and some were mentoring types of things. (We are both hockey fans, so a little bit of discussion about the Leafs (Toronto's local Hockey Team) sneaked in there as well.)
The Lord recalled all of that back in a flash to my memory as I asked Him that question, "What shall I call this teaching series?"
Then I knew the answer. It was going to be "Fireside Chat" and portions of this series will serve as informal mentoring in the prophetic for a lot of the folks in the prophetic-school.
So what should you expect out of this new "Fireside Chat" teaching series? I don't know the full answer to that, because God hasn't told me all the details yet. If you ask me how long this series will go, my answer is, "I don't know." I am guessing it will go at least four weeks and probably much longer. If you ask me what topics we will cover, my answer is "I don't know--but they will be Spirit-led."
I have this hopeful expectation that one of the things God will accomplish in this teaching series will be a little bit of prophetic mentoring for many of you. I am not as experienced/seasoned in the prophetic as Jim is, but I do seem to have a lot of experience and knowledge that the Lord wants me to impart into the lives of those who He is raising up in the prophetic. I won't be able to have a personal relationship with most of the prophetic-school students, but this series will both give you a chance to know me a bit better and it will maybe help you learn a few things that will be helpful to you as you grow in your gifting.
This is different than other teaching series I've done on the prophetic school, but I find myself looking forward to it. I will take questions on the prophetic that are emailed to me, but I may not be able to take every question that comes. I will try to select ones that are relevant to most people in the school. So if you have questions on the prophetic that you have been hoping to ask, please go ahead and send them to me at the <firstname.lastname@example.org> address.
I can't promise I will answer your question, but I will answer some of the questions in this teaching series. I will also share things that God lays on my heart to share. The end-goal of this series is to help you grow in the prophetic.
I am looking forward to spending the next however-many-weeks-God-leads with you and I hope this new 'Fireside Chat' teaching series will be a blessing to you.