The Journey

Keith Duncan-8

I believe that we flew past Spring and jumped straight into summer. May was a blur, with a massive flurry activity within the Duncan household and His Call Ministries. I was blessed to celebrate my 48th birthday in May, and Judah completed his sophomore year with straight A’s; allowing him to exempt all of his exams, for which he is extremely thankful for. Additionally, he was able to get his driver’s license, and now is skirting about town on his own. (Pray saints pray!)

May was also filled with ministry opportunity every weekend during the month. We kicked the Mother’s Day weekend off by ministering at Campmeeting Ministries in Critz, VA, and then were blessed to speak at Pastor David & Cindy Bryant’s church in Danville as the keynote speaker for Mother’s Day. We then traveled to Maryland to minister and celebrate with Dr. Caretha Crawford at her 5th Year Gala Celebration for In Pursuit of His Presence Ministries. It was a rather spectacular evening giving the Lord praise for all He has accomplished through their ministry efforts. What a wonderful blessing to sow back into the lives and ministries of these our cherished Kingdom Covenant Partners.

We rounded out the last of the month by pulling together another great team of worship leaders, which I have worked with throughout the years, for a special Pentecost Celebration with Cornerstone Television Network in Pittsburgh, PA. God has given us great favor with the President of that great network, and we have several more weeks worth of ministry coming up throughout the rest of this year, as well as several weeks of taping for INSP with David & Barbara Cerullo. This seems to be a great year for television ministry opportunities.

I continue to be amazed at how God opens doors for me to minister to individuals through the Real Estate opportunity. Michele and I have prayed with many of our clients, and God has often given a word for their lives…and they have received it. God has used this season to help us better articulate God’s plan for people’s lives who are not churched and are not familiar with the Church lingo that we often surround ourselves with.

As I reflect not only over the past year of our life and ministry, I can look over the past 23 years or ministry with Michele and realize that with each step of our journey (regardless of whether it made sense at the time or not), God was teaching us a nugget that would add to the sum total of who we are.

Oftentimes, if we are not careful, we will overanalyze every opportunity set before us and can talk ourselves out of an opportunity that God has placed before us; especially if it is one that does not make sense. Unfortunately, when in pursuit of God’s plan and purpose for our lives, we are not allowed the opportunity and luxury of knowing the

“Why” to each door. It merely requires us to listen to the voice of the Lord at each cross road and move according to His direction.

  • What is God Speaking to you today?
  • Is it hard to hear what He is saying?
  • Does it make sense to you, or are you wrestling with it making sense?
  • What is holding you back from moving forward?

Each of these are key questions for you to ponder and consider as you are earnestly seeking for clear direction from the Lord. So, let me give you four things that may assist your journey.

ASK

First, with each opportunity it is important to ask God if this is an opportunity from Him, or a distraction.

Often, the enemy will use something as a mere distraction to prevent you from walking out what He is calling you to. But when you pray and earnestly seek His will, He will give you a green light to keep moving forward.

TRUST

As you move forward, you need to trust that He will direct and guide you. You need to continue walking forward until He illuminates a Red light, and if He does not, keep moving forward. This is part of the Faith walk required by each of us .

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. –Proverbs 3:5

OBEY

Obedience is a tricky one. This is the place where our thoughts and reasoning often interfere with what God has told us to do. This is what happened when King Saul made a sacrifice before going to war because Samuel was delayed in his journey. Saul thought the sacrifice was the ultimate requirement to victory, yet it violated God’s protocol with Samuel the priest making the sacrifice.

Often, we get in a hurry and try to figure things out and “Make It Happen” with our resources, giftings, and skill sets. Yet God still requires us to obey His plans that He has prescribed for our journey.

ENJOY

When you follow each of these steps on your journey, the Lord promises His provision for you. When you ask for His direction, when you step out in faith and Trust Him to guide you, and then when you choose to obey His voice and direction, then He plans for you to enjoy the fullness of that which He has purposed and destined for you.

Sometimes, especially in the Charismatic circles, we feel it is not OK to enjoy a season. We feel guilty, or we feel that we should not feel happiness. If we are not careful, we will waltz right past the blessing and not enjoy the season of rest that He has provided for us.

This state of enjoyment is not our final destination. Rather, it is the place that He provides to us beside the still waters. A season of rest, refreshing and ultimately re- enlistment for the next leg of our journey.

I have learned that life is not about a final destination, but rather of sequence of life events filled with moment along the journey that make us who we are called and purposed to be. The key is sharing those moments with others along our journey to assist with where they may be on their journey.

Michele and I are enjoying a season of rest from the stress and strain of executing our Throne Zone conferences. For 12 years, we have subjected ourselves to the pressure of raising the budget and executing an event with a great level of excellence. It has been very rewarding, yet very draining mentally, emotionally, and so God has allowed us this year a Sabbath rest for which we are very grateful.

In this season we are learning how to better and more effectively reach people with the message of the good news that Jesus brings to us; how He provides hope for individuals, and how He has a plan for their life.

He is exposing us to new technology to better enable us to reach people, better understanding the times and how to effectively reach and impact lives of individuals in this season on planet earth.

Today, I encourage you on your journey. Ask God what He has for you. Ask Him to begin to open and close doors for your life. As He begins to open doors (and close them), Trust that He is in control and take the first step toward that open door. Listen to His voice with every step, and continue moving forward until you get a “Red Light” or a “NO” from God. When He speaks a word to you, be quick to respond with a “YES LORD” and walk with relentless obedience to the voice of God. And finally, ENJOY the seasons of rest. Don’t push past that season, but abide by the still waters as long as He allows you to, knowing that He will soon be opening other doors to you leading you to the next leg of your journey.

Michele, Judah and I love you greatly and thank God that He has brought you into our lives to journey with you during this season of your life and ours. We believe He has great plans and purposes for you, but we also know that it may be a bumpy ride. Let us therefore covenant to encourage each other along the way. Speaking to one another in Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs keeping our eyes focused upon the prize of the High Calling in Christ Jesus.

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The 3D Worshiper (The Conclusion)

ImageMichele and I have been enjoying this cooler weather as fall is in the air!  We have been walking four miles a day after dropping Judah off at school as we seek God for clear direction in this new season.  Many exciting announcements to be made very shortly regarding four Throne Zone Events for 2014 and how we will be expanding the Kingdom in 2014 and beyond!

This month, I would like to conclude my thoughts on 3D Worship.

In August, I shared how the One-Dimensional Worshiper was singularly focused, and how that focus concentrated on their individual preferences in the area of worship.  Worship was all about them, their likes or dislikes, and how they received during the worship encounter.

Last month, I discussed the danger of making our worship encounter into a Big Production, and the danger if our focus remains on building our productions bigger and bigger while losing sight of the real purpose of our worship….HIM.  I cautioned us that when we attempt to cater our worship with the exclusive cause of reaching the masses, it is easy for us to lose sight of the real thing which draws men unto the father….lifting Jesus higher.  Yet the more that I travel to various churches to observe the worship service, I am finding more and more churches spending big money on creating lights, smoke and “non-churchy” sets, singing the latest tunes they crafted earlier in the week, providing a great show, with very little or no flow of worship.

GOLDEN NUGGET WHEN LEADING WORSHIP: 
It is all about connecting the heart of the people with the heart of God.  Not connecting them to our Art!

There are many worship leading teams that concentrate on “FREEDOM” in worship, yet many of these teams leave no room or opportunity to help the congregation release their song.  What holes are left in the music is filled with cool guitar licks or vocal ad-libbing rather than it being a SELAH moment for the congregation. 

As a worship leader, this is one of my greatest pet-peeves.  My heart is to set congregations free from the opinion of man, the fear of man and the rejection of man that has silenced their praise, and create a safe place in which they are free to release their song of praise unto the Lord.  Sadly, this is rarely the case in many of our “Contemporary” worship services.  To this cause, I believe that the 3rd and final “D” in our 3D Worship series deals with: DEPTH.

When speaking of 3D in an art-form, the third dimension deals with depth; that is, making objects appear closer than they really are for the purpose of engaging in the experience.  This is what happens when we worship.

God wants our worship teams and Sunday to be more than a huge musical production that has great commercial appeal.  He wants our worship to have depth and truly be a worship EXPERIENCE that results in a divine God encounter that brings forth transformation in our lives, in our home, in our church and in our community.  He wants us to experience His presence when we worship.

Yes, we need to make our praise to God as large and loud as possible because He is a Great God!  We want to lead people beside the still waters to find peace of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  I encourage you today to not simply settle for the big commercialized production.  I encourage you to press past all of the fanfare and press into the Throne Zone of God’s presence- that place where your purpose is discovered and your passion is ignited.

Today you may ask, “Keith, how do I become a 3D Worshiper?”  “I believe we need to make our praise of God glorious, and utilize every resource available to us, but how do I not settle and camp out in that 2nd Dimension?” 

Let me give you 3 D’s to help you make this journey as a 3D Worshiper:

First, it all begins with a DECISION.  The word of God says in Deuteronomy 30:19, “this day I set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”  Our first step always begins with a choice.  Michele’s platform for her pageants all deal with this issue of “Choose to Change!”  We do not have to be victims of our environments, nor slave to them. God has given you and me the right to choose, and this scripture instructs us to choose correctly….choose LIFE!  Today, I encourage you to make the decision NOT to settle for polished performances of man, but to make the decision you want to press into that 3rd dimension, that Throne Zone Dimension of God’s presence.  Don’t just settle for the show when you can have the manifest tangible presence of God and access to your destiny and purpose in life.  This is the first step to experiencing transformation in your worship encounter with God!

The second D deals with DISCIPLESHIP.  To explain this, let’s look at our children.  When they are born, they are not able to speak.  As parents, we talk gibberish to them until they speak their first words.  As they begin to communicate necessities such as food, diaper changes, etc, our vocabulary changes.  They then head off to school.  In their elementary years, they simply learn to read.  Yet as they progress into middle and high school, they read to learn.  As they head into college years, they evolve into research and then are able to communicate on all levels and in all businesses.  Our children have become disciples of education.  As a result, they are able to communicate and connect with more people than they originally were able to while at a young age.  Their education gave them resources, challenged their thoughts, and ensured they could clearly communicate and defend their thoughts or positions in life.  The same is true with our worship.  If we remain as spiritual infants and never mature, then we will never reach a mature worship experience.  Yet, with every season of our growth, our expression of worship matures and can even impact others who have not yet matured.  In essence, the discipleship process not only enhances our worship experience, but it also models to other un-discipled believers (and non-believers) the proper way to worship and fully anticipate a God encounter in the worship experience.

Our third and final “D” deals with DETERMINATION.  Life is full of challenges and opportunities for us to press through or to run.  If you have ever watched the TV program “Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition”, you will see that transformation never occurs unless the individual becomes determined to break through the cycles which have held them captive.  The very first workout that Chris Powell takes his clients through is known as the “Fight or Flight Workout.”  He wants to push them to their limit to discover their level of determination.

Perhaps what you and I are going through today is merely a Fight or Flight Workout from the Holy Spirit.  You say, “Keith, God does not do that!”  O, I beg to differ with you.  He did when He tested Abraham to offer Isaac on the altar.  God wanted to see what He was going to do with the test.  Abraham’s faith was great, and God knew he was fully determined to fulfill the word of the Lord.  James 2:23 says “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  And he was called the friend of God.”

We must be fully determined to run the race with endurance, and to lay aside every weight that slows us down.  This is the same determination required in our approach to worship.

We must make the decision to go the distance in our worship and press past what we like and envision for worship.  We must not settle for the huge commercial presentations that offer freedom, but no depth or encounter in the worship presented in many churches today.  We must recognize that each of these dimensions is needed in the journey to the Throne Zone.  We must realize they are stops on the journey, not the final destination God is calling us to.  Therefore, we cannot settle for them if they prohibit us from entering into that 3rd dimension of worship….The Throne Zone.

When I am asked to sign my book, I always write, “Keep pressing into the Throne Zone and settle for nothing less than HIS Glory!”  He is calling you into that depth of worship where He can download strategies and specifics for your life, your ministry and/or your business.  He is calling you into the Throne Zone so you can discover your purpose and He can ignite the passion that has faded on your journey so that you can run the race with endurance, but complete the journey He has called you to.  You were born with a unique purpose- one that no one else on planet earth can accomplish.  You have a unique assignment and God wants to give you the strategies and specifics and the “how-to’s” to accomplish the vision you were born for.  However, you will not find it in the outer courts of praise and celebration.  This is found only in the secret place.  The place of praise and celebration are only the doorway.  The divine exchange that you and I seek occurs only in the Throne Zone. 

Today, I challenge you to become a 3D worshiper.  Get over what you like and ask God what HE likes in worship.  Do not settle for a big commercialized cutting-edge musical production, but make the decision to be a determined and discipled worshiper who will have depth in your worship encounter and press into the Throne Zone and settle for nothing less than HIS Glory!

Look for Your Anomaly

 

ImageI hope that you enjoyed the June partner letter from Michele.  I know people always love to hear things from her perspective, and I always love for her to connect with you as much as possible.  In that letter, she brought you up to speed with our transition to Raleigh, and I am excited to say that Kingdom Connections continue!

 

Paul Hollifield and I have been visiting several pastors, worship leaders and State Overseers sharing who we are, our passion for God’s presence, and seeking how we can partner with their ministries to see God’s plans and purposes revealed.  God is on the move, and several prophetic words have come from various streams regarding a Revival that will impact a 200 mile radius from the Raleigh area.  One prophet called Michele and I out this past weekend to share that God has transplanted us (uprooted us from Virginia) to bring us to Raleigh because we would play an instrumental role in the Revival that was getting ready to break loose in the Raleigh area.  As we met with each of these Pastors and Administrative Bishops, we continued to hear that same thread within each conversation.  Each of these prophetic words and ministry leaders were not connected, yet they were picking up the same word in the spirit which brought great comfort and encouragement to us.

 

As we wrestled with this move in the physical realm, and with all the unexpected financial costs that arose with the move, these prophetic words gave a sense of assurance that God has strategically uprooted and planted us in this region for a prophetic purpose.  And as I dealt with each of these items, I began to think of you and where you may be today as you read this partner letter.

 

I am reminded of Moses, as he was on the backside of the wilderness working his day job watching over the sheep, when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the form of a burning bush.  And as I read this account in Exodus 3, there were several things that brought clarity to my mind, and I feel as if the Lord wanted me to call these things to your attention because of where you are TODAY!

 

GOD SPOKE TO MOSES IN THE WILDERNESS

 

Verse 1 of Exodus 3 says that Moses kept the flock of Jethro, and he led the flock to the back or west side of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God.  Remember, this Prince of Egypt who had the power of great influence and leadership, was driven from his POSITION into a wilderness experience.  It was a place where no one knew his name.  In a sense, he was starting over.  

 

Perhaps you have recently experienced what the world would call a setback.  Perhaps you had great influence on your job, in your school, with your peers or at your church.  But now, like Moses you find yourself on the backside of the wilderness where no one knows your name and you feel as if you are simply going through the motions of life without any purpose.  I am confident these were the same emotions Moses felt.

 

But thank God, this was not the end of the story for Moses, or for you and me.

 

LOOK FOR THE ANOMALY

 

By definition, an anomaly is something that deviates from what is standard, normal or expected.  Basically, expect the unexpected!

 

This is what happened as Moses saw the burning bush that was not consumed by the fire.  Verse 2 of Exodus 3 says that “The Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold the bush burned with fire, yet was not consumed.”  This is an anomaly- something not normal or expected.  It was used to get the attention of Moses.  But as we read this account, Moses didn’t simply stop and say “…..WOW….that was weird” and simply move on.  NO, scripture says he turned aside to see this great sight.

 

If you and I are not careful, we will miss the bidding of the angel of the Lord.  We will see something that catches our attention, but will simply discount it as being really weird and move on.  WE MUST NOT MISS THE ANGEL OF THE LORD SHOWING UP IN UNEXPECTED WAYS OR PLACES!

 

As Michele said last month, God used the Worship Center to get our attention.  But when God uses things, it is not necessarily the Thing that he wants to give us revelation with.  It is simply God’s calling card to get our attention because He wants to speak to you and me.

 

CHANGE YOUR DIRECTION
TO HEAR FROM GOD!

 

Verse 4 of Exodus 3 says, “And when the Lord saw that he (Moses) turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush.”  How many moments have you and I missed to hear from God.  We have celebrated and testified to the anomaly (that unique incident that caught our attention), but because we did not follow through with altering our plans and directions, we missed out on God speaking directly to us….even calling out our name as He did Moses.

 

Today, I want to challenge you (and my family) to change our direction or plans when the angel of the Lord is attempting to get our attention.

 

Draw near unto God, and He will draw near unto you and me!

 

GET YOUR DOWNLOAD OF INSTRUCTIONS
IN THE THRONE ZONE

 

The rest of Chapter 3 goes on to share the download that God gave Moses.  In essence, God revealed Moses’ purpose and destiny to him in that moment, as well as giving him specific instruction how to carry out that purpose.

 

That is what God wants to do for you and me.  He wants to download our purpose, reveal the reason why you and I were born during this specific time in life, and share the “HOW-TO’s” of reaching our destiny and full potential.

 

Moses was born for much more than simply a Prince of Egypt (ruler of bondage and oppression)!  He was born as a deliverer from that bondage induced to the Israelites.

 

What is your destiny?  Why do you exist?  

 

That is what fuels the passion and very heartbeat of His Call Ministries.  We desire to see the body of Christ discover who God has created them to be, and provide resources to help them achieve their God-given purposes.  That is why we host Throne Zone events!  It is because there are so many that are on the backside of the desert, no longer in their place of position or even prominence, but simply have not discovered the unique God-given purposes.  We desire to help the body of Chirst!

 

The Throne Zone is hopefully that burning bush.  Remember, the Angel of the Lord appeared in the Bush, but after the angel got the attention of Moses, God came on the scene and spoke.  Our role is to be like the angel’s and simply call out to those who are in the wilderness, believing that as they alter their plans or journey to come and see the bush, we get out of the way and let God speak.

 

Today, some of you are looking for your anomaly.  You are looking and waiting for the angel of the Lord to show up and reveal himself to you.  I encourage you to press into that Throne Zone Dimension of God’s presence so you can receive the download for your destiny.

 

You may say, “I don’t know how to access that dimension where I am!”.  To that, my response is simple….. “Join us July 25-27 in Raleigh/Durham for The Throne Zone”.  I can say that with confidence simply because our purpose is clear, and our mission is to create the atmosphere that will make it easy for you to enter into that Throne Zone dimension of God’s presence.  We will create that safe place, setting aside time for you to discover, explore but ultimately discover The Throne Zone for yourself so you can begin walking in the destiny God has planned for you according to Jeremiah 29:11.

 

Some of you may not be able to join us.  I would ask you to send a special offering or scholarship someone who may not be able to afford to come to the Throne Zone.  

 

What price would you pay if you knew you could receive the download from God to know why you were placed here on earth, and how you can implement these plans and purposes?  

 

Please help us to establish this Throne Zone Carolina.  We need your help!  There are individuals coming who are in their wilderness experience and they must discover their assignment.  Help us create this safe place with time set aside for people to discover The Throne Zone!  

 

Thank you for your help.

 

 

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Spring, Where Art Thou?

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It is that time of year!  Anticipation begins to mount once we hear the forecast from the groundhog.  We listen a bit closer to the weather report, we download The Weather Channel app to our Smartphone or iPad as we await confirmation of the arrival of warmer temperatures. 

Spring just makes people a little happier as we say goodbye to Old Man Winter.  Flowers begin to bud, grass turns lush green and life seems to return to the landscape surrounding us.

This concept is very true in our individual lives.  We all experience these various seasons in our individual lives.  It is impossible to think that we can only exist in one particular season year round.  Yet, the most abundant season of harvest remains dependent upon fall and winter.  It is during this season of rest where the vegetation has the ability to regain vital nutrients which will produce its harvest when the season changes.

When we don’t allow the season to run its natural course, and we rush the season, we create or experience greater problems when the season does finally change.  For example, Virginia had a very mild winter in 2011.  When spring of 2012 finally came, we had an overabundant population of mosquitoes.  We all enjoyed the mild winter as we didn’t have to bundle up as much as normal, and we were able to wear our shorts and flip-flops early on; however, it became impossible to enjoy the outdoors without insect repellant, fans and Tiki torches blazing- not for summer entertainment- but out of necessity.

You and I are often this way when it comes to the seasons we walk through in our lives or ministry.  We enjoy the summer season when everything in our life and ministry is operating at full capacity.  We are able to see the fruit of our labors.  But if we rush the season, our harvest can be diminished and our full potential never realized.

Perhaps the weather we are currently experiencing represents your life.  It seems as if Old Man Winter wants to stay around and not allow spring to come forth.  No matter how much you anticipate and look forward to your new season of life, it seems that the cold, dark and barren winter simply will never leave you or your ministry.  God has made several promises to you, but you have not yet seen them fulfilled.  You see how God could be working, but you remain unable to make those things happen.  You are dependent upon others moving, and it seems they simply will not budge.  It seems as if nothing in your life is changing and everything you once were productive at has either died from winter or got frostbitten in the process. 

So what do we do when our Springtime Delays?

First, we must remember that GOD LIKES SEASONS.  He created four of them:  Spring, summer, fall and winter.  He has orchestrated when these seasons come and when they go.  He knows how much time is needed for each season to rest, and how much time is needed for that season to produce.  Ultimately, HE KNOWS WHAT IS BEST and HE REMAINS IN CONTROL OF THE SEASONS.

We must also remember that DELAY IS NOT DENIAL.  Just because you are not walking into your Summer Season, it does not mean that you have missed it.  It simply means that it is on the way.  I am reminded that when Daniel prayed, God sent the response immediately.  Michael had to fight through the demonic forces of evil to hand deliver the answer to Daniel’s prayer.  Right now, I believe that the angels of heaven are fighting their way through the demonic forces and strongholds that standing between you and your breakthrough.  You must realize that God retains ultimate power to overcome the enemy and break through the lines and your answer is night at hand.  HE has not said “NO”, HE has simply said “NOT YET”.  So, you must keep pressing on.

It is important to encourage ourselves with scripture and be reminded that although our weeping may endure for the night, Joy is coming in the morning.  The SON will arise with healing in His wings as HE breaks forth and begins to pierce the darkness with his radiant beams of glory.  We must wipe the tears from our eyes and anticipate HIS glory breaking in upon our situation and anticipate the morning.  For with the morning comes great JOY!  The greater the battle, the sweeter the victory!

Encourage not only yourself, but others going through a similar situation.  The word of God says, “Be not weary in well doing, for in due season you SHALL REAP if you do not faint.”  Now more than ever, we must be encouragers one to another.  We must speak words of faith over our situation and others.  We want to not only run the race, but we want to finish well.  Do not focus on simply running.  Let your focus be upon finishing.

As you know, I am a very large proponent of seeding your atmosphere with worship that builds your faith and assists you on your journey.  Perhaps one of my most favorite lyrics is found in “Dance With Me” on the second verse.  The line says, “Your winter has past and your springtime has come.”  I love to shift the vocals so high because to me, shifting the vocal line exemplifies the shift that takes place when we leave our winter and enter into our springtime and harvest.  It is very important to seed your atmosphere with worship that will speak to your situation.  Not in a negative way much like country music does.  With many country tunes you lose your job, your wife, your car and your dog so why not go get drunk.  If you seed your atmosphere with songs that merely describe your situation, you have no authority to change your situation.  Somebody once said when you play country music backwards, you get your car back, your wife back and your job back.  What lyrics are you sowing into your atmosphere?

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for my springtime to come!  I am tired of the fruitful season of my life seemingly die as winter rolls into the picture.  David Horton -one of my mentors in worship now gone on to be with the Lord- used to fuss at me and tell me, “You can’t expect harvest year round…..God just doesn’t work like that.” 

Just like spring and summer will be arriving shortly, so too the season you are walking through is about to shift.  I encourage you to prepare yourself now for that shift whether that be positioning yourself, or repositioning yourself to be ready to spring forth when He sheds His glorious light upon you.

“CHILD YOUR WINTER IS PAST, AND YOUR SPRINGTIME HAS NOW COME!”