The Off Mike podcast features my in-process thoughts about a large number of topics. In order to continue the conversation, I will present a written version of the key thoughts of these podcasts.
In this podcast, Sally and I together talk about 2016 and 2017.
Welcome to the last OffMike of the year. Sally and I are returning to say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017, and giving a few pointers for the New Year. I’ve got lots of exciting things going on in my daily devotions as we start going through the Acts of the Apostles, which I really love.
We’re going to do an OffMike podcast 2-3 times a month in 2017.
I thought I should get in on this act.
You thought that you need to get in on a good thing.
We’re coming to the end of a brilliant year, aren’t we?
We moved house—next door. A long way.
We did a quick survey with our children. We have three children. They’re all married. We added up all the different moves that we as a whole family and then each individual couple had done since the beginning, and it came to 126.
And then we added four more.
So I’m hoping we don’t do it as often. I realize that it’s family on mission, and so it’s all apostolic and movemental, but I honestly think we should slow down a bit.
It’s been a great year. We’ve seen amazing things. I’ve had a brilliant time in my pilot huddles looking at this new content on awakening and working with leaders who really want to see the movement start within their own ministries. They’re making the transition from mission to movement like we have helped people in the past
make the shift from ministry to mission. Going from ministry to mission is obviously outward looking; going from mission to movement means that it becomes sustainable, scalable, and movemental in its form. And we’re really beginning to see it— it’s amazing, some of this stuff.
We’ve got a full lot of huddles for next year, plenty to do. Tuesday and Wednesday are big huddle days. I probably do 8 hours of huddles on those days. We take some breaks in the day, but it starts at 9 in the morning and stops at 9 at night.
Next year, we’ll begin to see various different things going on. I’m going to be working with the 3DM team here in the United States to help them rebuild their Learning Community process, which I’m tremendously excited about. Lots of other nascent movements across America and Latin America and Australia, too.
Outside of Tuesday and Wednesday, I’ve got lots of Ph.D. stuff to do and writing and all kinds of stuff. And you’ve got your speaking ministry developing…
I’m actually going to be doing some speaking in Vancouver at a church while you’re speaking at another campus. I’m also beginning to plan some retreats for next year for women.
And I really like this time of year. One, because it’s Christmas. It’s my namesake, Jolly Jolly Jolly. And I like the New Year because it’s a new start, and I like new starts, change. And then we move onto my birthday.
I think we’re just back from Latvia and then on our way to Canada—just a little intermission in the middle for your birthday. We’ll be at home with the family.
It will be very jolly.
One of things I’ll be doing with all my huddles is getting them to reflect back on the year and say what they are thankful for, and then to look forward and to say what they’re hope-filled for.
It’s like a learning circle…
Mike, don’t even start. Stop now.
And then I always pray for a word for the year. Mike
When you say a word, I think it’s important that people understand it’s not just one word. A word is a word of prophecy. It’s a shortened sentence. I often listen to people who aren’t familiar with the prophetic thing, and they ask what word they’re going to get. Pajamas? Mandarin oranges? It’s not a word…
It’s an encompassing word.
It’s something that the Lord is speaking directly to you that has scriptural precedent and is borne out by the witness of others.
Gosh, I ought to be a teacher of the word.
It actually sounds like you know what you’re talking about there.
My word is for the year is joy. It’s about choosing joy, seeing joy, bringing joy, finding joy. And I think it’s about the joy that comes from being certain of the word that you previously heard from the Lord. And I really heard from the Lord at the end of this year, and it brought me great joy, having walked through the valley and not having been certain of it for a while.
The scripture reference is Psalm 16:11, which is, “You make known to me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” And that speaks life to me.
Good word. Funnily enough, it is a quote of Peter on the Day of Pentecost, quoting David. So he speaks about the Holy Spirit coming, and then speaks about David, and quotes David. So the Holy Spirit is the one bringing the joy. I love that.
I like happy things and joyful things. But it’s not that type. It’s a deep, lasting type. On days when I don’t feel joyful, I believe that the Lord will show me where the joy is.
My word is all around awakening still. I think it’s because I’m focusing on leaders here in America, and America so often refers to the dreams of people. I’ve heard Christian leaders quite often refer to God’s dream for others, and of course, there’s the famous speech by Dr. King, “I have a dream.”
The idea of a dream is a hugely important image here in America. I think it’s Clotaire Rapaille in The Culture Code who says that the code of American culture is the dream.
I felt like the Lord said to me that to fulfill a dream, you have to wake up. I think the reason awakening is so important to America, and the reason that awakening is used for revival here in America, is that for Americans to fulfill the dream that God has put in their heart, they have to wake up.
I really think that God wants to wake up American leaders so the dream that’s in their heart can be fulfilled. So that’s what I’m going to be doing with the huddles and the seminars and the other things I’ll be doing this year.
Do you remember when our kids were smaller, and we used to reflect back on the year, and we used to write down what the prayers and faith-filled hopes were for the year ahead, so that each of them could see what God had done.
I think it’s really important to look back and see God’s faithfulness and see that he was faithful for all that time, and then you have more hope and more faith for the future. It teaches your children to reflect back and remember God’s goodness, which is always a good thing.
There’s another one that I’ve heard of other people doing. Every time that God answers a prayer, you put it in a jar. A big, big jar, because he’s going to answer a lot of prayers. And then on New Year’s Eve, open them up and look at them all and say look what God did about this and there was a miracle here.
It’s a concrete way. Counting your blessings literally.
Next year we’ll be back with OffMike fairly regularly. We’ll have a new website. Discipling Culture is going to be migrated into a new website called michaeljamesbreen.com. It’s going to have new content and a much easier way to navigate through all the blogs and stuff.
Podcasts, blogs, and devotionals will be all under one site.
Podcasts will be on iTunes, which will be a revolution.
To conclude, I thought I would quote George VI. I was thinking about George VI after binge-watching The Crown recently. George VI was the king in The King’s Speech and is the queen’s father. I thought I would quote from the famous poem that he quotes in his speech for the New Year. To finish 2016, I thought I would quote from “The Gate of the Year” by Minnie Louise Hankins—it’s actually called “God Knows.”
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.