2017: The Year of The Harp, The Pen, The Paintbrush, and Dancing Shoes – A Word by Bill Yount & Andy Sanders
By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? (Psalms 137:1-4 NIV)
From Bill: When I first started traveling in ministry 20 years ago, I would sing in every meeting. One day I stopped singing; I was in so many different churches with so many styles of music that the devil ( and certain people) made me feel like my music didn’t belong. So I stopped. This passion lay dormant for many years, until recently; within a week, two different people said to me, “Bill, when are you going to sing again?” I thought that was strange. Then I heard God’s voice speak to me, “Son, it’s not about the style of music, it’s the anointing! Take your harp (your guitar and songs) down off the weeping willow tree and start killing the giants in people’s lives.” Now, after 15 long years, I have taken my harp (the call to sing) down off the weeping willow tree. God through me has come alive again! I don’t know what I sound like to those listening; I just know that it sounds beautiful to God. He missed it for fifteen years.
Let me tell you a secret. We are not supposed to fit too tight in the Body of Christ when it comes to using our gifts and talents; God loves variety! That’s why He never gets bored. Dare to be different if you want to see the Glory of God in your life, city, and nation this year. Dare to obey the Lord with the unique gifts and ways He wants to use you.
Someone, Please Tear the Roof off of God’s House!
Do what God is calling you to do regardless of what some people may think, and, if need be, tear the roof off of God’s house to let His glory in. Someone, please tear the roof off. Tearing a roof off can be risky. Many people will wonder why you are doing it. But we must see God’s glory in our lives, city, and the nations. Without God’s glory, we die. God has spoken and it is time for us to grab our harps (the pens, paintbrushes, and dancing shoes) for the Lord and put them back to action again! God reserved this year for you; He is calling your name.
Branches Are Being Blended (and Mended) for the Body of Christ to Be More Compatible.
From Andy: Something interesting about the willow tree is that it has over 400 different species within it worldwide. Weeping willow trees are mainly hybrid trees, cross-compatible when blended within its own species. In simple terms, if you join two they will live and produce. How much more the Body of Christ? Bill and I will both agree that back on that day several years ago, the Lord joined our hearts in such a supernatural way. I consider him partially responsible for speaking forth my call to write and publish. More so, as a traveling minister, Bill has helped me walk through the good and bad while learning to serve the Body in the office the Lord has called us to. He is the one man on earth who has held my hand as a minister going through life. God never called us to walk alone in life; He has called us to join the root systems of the kingdom of heaven. What God has put within you will not be completed by just you alone. It will require roots and branches of the Body of Christ–many people, family, friends, and mentors. He is doing this to foster growth and mature fruit within our lives. One more thing about the willow tree–I also found out that these trees are known as a “watery tree” because some can carry large amounts of water due to the design of the bark. As we step forward this year and forge pure roots and branches among others, God will water it well. The drought season is ending!
“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14 NIV).
God Sees What No One Else Seems to Recognize
The feeling one has when they are about to take an unknown step into completely unfamiliar territory. I remember when Bill Yount said to me several years ago, “I want you to write something with me.” Thoughts of excitement, failure, and honor flooded my mind at once. Would my effort be accepted or rejected? These are normal thoughts that we all face when we gaze upon the enormous size of a willow tree. Uncertainty can foster fear if we let it. The call to write within me at the time was hidden within the shadows of larger branches. All it took was one stronger branch (Bill Yount) to reach down and give me a lift upward.
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Some tree roots grow deep underground. Regardless of the depth, the willow tree has very strong roots; God has placed within us strong spiritual roots. What you have been through has fashioned you behind the scenes (underground), yet it has caused you to grow deep, ready for this season now. The question becomes, “How do we get up there to the top of that tree in order to lay hold of the gift (writing, music, art, dance, etc.) that no one sees?” Climb! When God made the willow tree He created it with extremely strong roots. The tree that stands before you is strong enough to hold you up. The branches that once hid you will now become the branches that propel and sustain you. In this next season many will reach down and pull those hidden upward into the brightness of God’s Son. Many hidden stepping stones, platforms, and paths (branches) are coming into the light this year. God has sent you a larger branch! He is calling us all to reach down and pull up while others reach down and pull us up.
The Next Generation Is Coming Out of the Shadows This Year.
The weeping willow tree is known for its immense shade. Though the shade can provide a nice breeze and a cool place to rest from the scorching heat, precious things can be hidden within the dark shadows of such a tree. Potentially, the enormity alone can cause other nearby growth to cower. The younger generation will no longer cower under the shadows of the larger trees (older generation). It is time for the larger trees to make room for the next generation of growth; the next seeds have sprouted and are growing strong now. Though no one around you appears to see the talent yet, God is blowing on the tree limbs this year in order to reveal at the right times and places what has been hidden for so long.
From Bill & Andy: As two ministers and writers, we want to say to the next generation, “Forgive us for the peer pressure we put on you to perform like our generation.” You are not called to be like our generation, nor attempt to entertain us. You are not performers; you are presence carriers. You have been fashioned to express God the way you were designed–without religious limitations. The religious systems (weeping willow trees) that have cast dark shadows over some of you are being chopped down and burned this year! Let God lead your life and be who the King is calling you to be. Dare to be different and do things God’s way and rend the heavens this year. We cut the strings of restrain off of you in Jesus’ Name, and we bless you with an earthly father’s blessing. In Jesus’ Name, we break the peer pressure off of the Body of Christ right now that has intimidated many to live under the weeping willow tree. I hear the Father saying, “From this day will I bless you.”
This is the year of The Harp, The Pen, The Paintbrush, and Dancing Shoes. Take them down off the weeping willow tree and shake the hell out of the earth. It is time to reach out and grab the gift (harp), bringing it back down from the weeping willow tree and into your arms again. Your talents are coming alive. We are sitting at the edge of our seats for what’s coming out of the shadows of the weeping willow tree this year.
“Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy” (Psalms 33:3 NIV.).
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A TURNAROUND FOR YOU..
A word by Dana Jarvis
I decree you are making the spiritual journey from the bondage of Egypt into your promised land of destiny. I know you have grown weary. Do not let the murmurings and complaining attitudes rule you. It causes the faith to waiver! Your focus is upon the cup of bitter waters that you are currently drinking from.
Rest assured that your God is making these bitter waters sweet!
You shall taste and see that the Lord is good! You are going to see such extravagance in your daily life. He is delivering much into your hands so reach up and take hold. Just as he was with you before, he is with you now. You are going to drink deep of the Living Waters. The bitter waters of life have tried to steal all joy.
However I hear the Lord say, “It is done, I am the Lord who heals you. I am the Lord who will restore you. I am the Lord who will provide your every need. I am the One that is making the bitter waters sweet!”
I feel so strongly that God is removing your cup of bitter waters you have had to drink for so long. He is causing a turnaround for you in a situation that you desperately need him to move. I am speaking to several and know this word is for you. Even as the Lord led Moses and the children of Israel from their bondage at the Red Sea, it still took one step of faith. One step of faith is all it takes to cause a release from all of this. Take a moment and sow into good ground by giving into Spirit Fuel. For just a contribution of $25, $50, or even $100 or more given into Spirit Fuel is an active step and good ground on which to sow. It is a powerful ministry reaching the world for Christ. As you sow that offering, it is that act of faith that will cause the Red Sea where you are standing to part in your life. The bitter cup will be removed and the sweetness of the Lord shall begin to flow!
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