Dear Friends,

Has the enemy been causing you to wonder why you have been going through so much and as if you have been abandoned? Have you felt as if you have “missed it,” or “gone crazy,” or have lost your “grace” to continue on? Or as though you have somehow fallen out of the protection of the Lord? Has the collective harassment of man and the spiritual realm gotten “to” you in a big way? Do you just plain have a big “WHAT?!” in your mind and heart that you have been holding up to the Lord?
Many have been going through such a season. The truth of the matter is that it is likely none of the above. Simply put, it rains on the just and the unjust, and you are part an arising remnant, being ironed out and having the “spots” removed to become that pristine Bride of Christ, awaiting Her King.
We are now in the time period on the Jewish calendar known as the “Days of Awe” – Rosh Hashana to the Day of Atonement, headed into a new year. 
Changes, changes, changes. Time to shift gears. 
God asked Adam, “Where are you?” In this season, He is asking that of us too. So let’s ask that of ourselves, as well as, “Where am I headed? “Where do I want to go?” & “Lord, how can I get there?” Then as we pass beneath His Shepherds Rod for inspection & promotion during this time and the Lord speaks to our minds and hearts, let’s write down what He shows us (Habakuk 2:2-4). Then go for it, as it says in Philippians 3:13-14: (13) “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, (4) I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”
I heard the word “astonish.” It means, “To strike with sudden and usually great wonder, surprise, or fear. Also: “To amaze, surprise, astound, bowl over, dumfound, flabbergast, floor, rock, shock, startle, stun, stupefy, thunderstrike.”
I had a sensing that what we are about to see happen will “astonish” us. It will be the days of Biblical proportion. A “great and terrible” day of the Lord. Great for those of us who know and serve the Lord; terrible for those who do not.
The news media will be reporting things that will cause even them to seek the Lord all the more, and they and the people who watch will truly be astonished.
The greatest thing we can possess in this time is God’s “peace that passes all understanding.” That’s not something that can be bought or sold. It can only be given by our God, and received and walked in by us as we run to Him for safety and sanity.
This past year was the “beginning of woes” in natural disasters. This coming year there will be others. The Watchmen/women must be on the Wall of Intercession and stand in the gap. Those who can and are able to help must step up to the plate. Many are being called now to be in place. For some, that means they are being led into and trained for disaster preparedness and even the chaplaincy throughout the Land in order to assist those in need. For others, it means they are preparing their homes, land, or churches for what is ahead. The heart of the church is being sensitized and prepared, “For such a time as this.”
There will be a restoring of the righteous fear of God as these things occur. Many will flock to the Church to find answers and provision, for the government will fail them. But it will also cause some ungodly ones to get angry and lash out against the Christian church.
Because of increased persecution of Christians, more and more are being called to restore the “Book of Acts” type of “House to House” churches. They are a part of the remnant that will “endure to the end.”
God is calling forth champions and heroes that legends are made of. Those who will travel even by motorcycle or horseback to do the bidding of the Lord, even in dangerous territory.
I heard, “Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. Prepare while you can.” – Very important to install those water wells and hand operated pumps; stockpile food and resources; to begin now to grow your own food; and even prepare your homes, barns, and/or land for those who will need to take refuge with you in the days to come.
As I heard the word “prepare” repeated, I was made known that it meant mentally, physically, and spiritually, for we will need to be ready in every way.
There will be those who find themselves homeless at times in days ahead, while others who have the provision will arise to the occasion and provide. Some will live in their vehicles or in tents on land that has been reserved to be “places of refuge” that God has been preparing for these days. Others will share homes, and some will even live within the walls of church facilities.
Prepare for “suddenlies” of all kinds. And know that God has you hidden beneath the shadow of His Hand to love on and nurture you in the days ahead. He owns this world and all that is in it, and provision is in His Hands to distribute. The angels of Heaven have been prepared for this Day.
Do not second guess yourself if the Lord awakens you and tells you to “GO NOW!” and to “DO THIS!” or “DO THAT!” – Be ready for it.
One day when I was getting ready to go to work when I worked at Jim & Tammy Bakker’s PTL/Heritage USA, the Lord spoke to me to make an extra lunch and take it to work with me. At first I thought I was crazy, but then I thought, “What would it hurt? If someone else doesn’t need it, then I’ll have it there for tomorrow.” We started every day with devotions, and when ours began, one of my co-workers said she forgot to bring her lunch. I said, “That’s ok. God had me make an extra lunch for you.” He is SO faithful! That was obedience on a small scale….But it was big to that lady that God did that for her! She wept!
Then I’ll never forget the story of how David Wilkerson heard the Lord tell him to have his people make sandwiches – lots of sandwiches – the weekend before 9/11 happened. He didn’t know why. He and his people simply obeyed. And they were first responders to help feed the many rescue workers during that time.
“ASTONISHING TIMES” ahead, for sure. Times that will amaze, surprise, astound, bowl over, dumfound, flabbergast, floor, rock, shock, startle, stun, stupefy, & thunderstrike many. But we have an astonishing God who is greater than anything or anybody who has GOOD plans for us! Plans to prosper and not to harm us. Plans to give us a hope filled future! (ref. Jer. 29:11)
Our job? That’s in Jer. 29:12: “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me and I will listen to you And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Father, Son, & Holy Spirit, we come to you in the name of Jesus. Here we are, Lord. Use us. Speak to us, for we are listening and searching for You and Your answers with all our hearts. We ask you that we would be found faithful and obedient in these times. Let none of us pass through this life until we have fulfilled the purpose, call, and destiny for which you formed us. Cause us to be blessed to be a blessing and encouragement to others, and to glorify You by building and supporting Your Kingdom and making YOU famous! We love you! In Jesus Name, Amen.
– Joni Ames
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God’s Plans for you are GOOD! (Jer. 29:11)
Joni Ames
P.O. Box 99
Elkview, WV 25071
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