Buried deep…

I never could have predicted how The Gardener would plant me after I gave him my “yes” many decades ago. I never would have sent my roots deeper when the troubles came if he wasn’t so trustworthy. I never would have known that the glory of heaven was buried deep in the soil if it wasn’t for his living word. (see Jeremiah 17:7-8)

You are a planting of the Lord destined to be an oak of righteousness. This moment matters. (Isaiah 60:21, 61:3)

You are a blessing!

Weakness… Portal to God’s Power

Thank you so much for asking the Lord for words to prophesy over me on my birthday (Nov 13). I have captured and saved the messages you sent. Our Father poured out the generosity of his household to me through your prophetic words. The family of King Jesus is glorious and has the power and authority to bless like no other network anywhere in the world.

What an incredible honor it is for me to craft words into works that you would read and be affected by eternal things from God! There are unlimited provisions available to us because of Jesus. You are designed to live, move, and exist by receiving and sharing those provisions. God blesses me by allowing me to write out of what he has poured into me.

I was reading 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 in “The Passion Translation” this morning. In his letter, the Apostle Paul wrote about his weaknesses and especially how he chose to handle them. In Brian Simmons’ paraphrase it reads, “…my weakness is a portal to God’s power.”

Being able to perceive yourself with both God-given strengths AND weaknesses is crucial to prophesying. Every one of us fights a personal battle with insecurity over our weaknesses being exposed. You are not alone and we all get that it’s hard for you to be vulnerable. We have that in common.

The church is designed to be prophetic… along with apostolic, evangelistic, shepherding, and teaching. (Ephesians 4) Those of us who have heard God’s call to help others grow in the prophetic must properly steward our weaknesses.

Here is the scripture from 2 Corinthians I was reading today, “But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

The word of the Lord to us today is actually an invitation to trust him with our weaknesses. How powerful would it be if people could see the glory of God on us because we are not defeated but actually delighted by the ways we are weak? This will take courage and faith. But, he provides the unlimited grace that is needed. I pray that there will be a resurgence of the glory of God’s household in the generations beginning with us.

You are a blessing!

God’s relentless display of beauty… You (part two)

The word of the Lord is alive and active. (Hebrews 4:12)  God intentionally brought us into being. We are designed for life-union with Jesus and his word is designed to change us into who God says we are. The prophetic will always be about Jesus. He is the Living Word of God. 

Receiving the living word of the Lord is where the prophetic always starts. David saw himself as something God had already written before he was born. (Psalm 139) The prophet Jeremiah also was told that he was set apart to be a prophet to the nations before birth. (Jeremiah 1) God’s word is full of life and it is designed to keep on filling us so that it flows out of us in everything we do. 

The Lord has taught me to trust what he says more than any other word regardless of how powerful it may seem to be. Sometimes I have even had to disagree with my own opinions and mindset because of God’s living word. What God says and reveals about my life is more powerful than even my own opinions. 

In order to grow in the prophetic, that’s where you begin. When you surrender yourself to Jesus, you become a child of God. The Holy Spirit wakes you up to the fact that you are a growing tree that he has planted. (Isaiah 60:21)  But, he didn’t just plant you and leave you to grow on your own. 

We are his sons and daughters. We have been appointed as prophets to the nations. The word we have been given radically changes things. Because we bear the name of Jesus, we possess the power and authority to “…uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”  (Jer 1:10) Jesus promised that the church he is building will unlock and open the way for heaven to be known in all the earth. 

Today you can say to the Lord, “I believe that your word is alive and active in me because I am your child. I exist because of your word. I surrender my heart, mind and body to you. Jesus, drive my roots deep into what you say so that it spills out of me everywhere I go today.” Amen

You are a blessing! 

God’s relentless display of beauty… You (part one)

I mentioned a week ago that I would write about my experience with trusting God. The prophet Isaiah wrote prophetically that God’s people were planted by God for the display of God’s splendor. (Isaiah 60-61) Over time they would become “oaks of righteousness”.


We need to pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us. Under the title, “God’s relentless display of beauty… You” I want to share my experience in trusting Jesus with my life. So, you will be seeing a series of posts under that heading. From my earliest memories, I have heard that I am indeed “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) Knowing that and then trusting the process has become a lifelong project for me.
I was blessed to be raised in a pastor’s home. I don’t want to leave you with the wrong impression about what I was “blessed” with. The gift of being the fourth of five children in a pastor’s household was not a life of ease. The term “pastor” is taken from a latin word meaning “shepherd”.


My parents were shepherds to the families in our innercity church. So, in a sense, I was raised as a hired hand of a couple of shepherds. That meant that I lived and breathed the good, bad, and ugly about how people can behave. It wasn’t always pretty. But, it provided me with a front row seat to the human experience of trusting that God would cause his will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven”.


Thanks for your patience as I search through my memories for the keys of the kingdom God left for me to find. Yes, he does that. The Lord hides things from us. But, it’s not because he wants you to lack any good thing. It is because he wants to bless you in your searching. When you put your faith in Jesus as a living presence with you and you allow his words to infiltrate your mind, keys of heaven get stored away for you to discover along your journey.

You and I have been entrusted with life. Congrats! That is a big deal. Don’t miss the truth that you weren’t given the gift of life because you deserve it. God has taught me that his gift of existence to me makes me worthy of showing up each day for his glory. I get to do this!

To live with Jesus means that we possess eternal life in him. That amazing, transcendent, life of God was made available to me through living as a pastor’s son. By loving and bearing with humans that were under our care, I was driven deep in the ground so that like a seed, I could die and then begin to grow into something amazing.

I resisted that process most of the time as a kid and then as a teenager. But, God was relentless in his pursuit of my heart. Take courage today in knowing that in every moment of every day there is a spiritual dimension to your life. The Spirit of God will meet you there. Holy Spirit brings the living presence of Jesus to you. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life in every moment and the door is always unlocked to you by faith. Young or old, rich or poor, success or failure, the One who designed you for his splendor is available.

You are a blessing!

Life-union…

I had a “prayer warrior” friend say to me recently that the problem with Christians in western culture is that we won’t humble ourselves enough to receive the living word of the Lord. I was intrigued and provoked (in the best way) as I have wrestled with this very thing for many years.

I have discovered a new favorite phrase from “The Passion Translation” referring to how Jesus calls us to live. He urges us to “remain in life-union” with him. For many of us, we will remember hearing about this as “abiding” in Jesus.

When it comes to being prophetic, no matter your age or culture, you must relate to Jesus as a person and you must receive his words. Both are far more than an idea, a concept or a set of beliefs.

What would happen if we gave our lives, surrendering ourselves to Jesus in order to remain in life-union with him? It would require us to embrace him as a living person present with us and his living words as something active inside us.

We would stand out as a bit strange at times… but “wonderfully” strange.

Maybe you have that same desperate hunger gnawing away in your gut as I do for God to be known on earth as in heaven. And you aren’t sure what to do with it. I encourage you to ask the Lord to make remaining in life-union with Jesus a priority in everything you do. Watch for him to show you the implications of his living presence with you and in you. Anticipate that you will experience him and his living words as active transforming agents in your life. Let your life-union with him expand your worldview.

As you do, you will find yourself prophesying more and more with your words and even your actions. Here is John 15:1-7 from “The Passion Translation”:

“I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine.

“I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches.[e] As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless. If a person is separated from me, he is discarded; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire to be burned. But if you live in life-union with me and if my words[f] live powerfully[g] within you—then you can ask whatever you desire and it will be done.” (John 15:1-7) TPT

You are a blessing!

Not invisible… transparent

Lately, I have been writing more my journey in the prophetic. I’m not sure of all of my motivations behind this. But, I know that I want to help us all (including me) receive and declare the living word of the Lord in this time we have been given.

In a church prophetic prayer session recently, one of our prayer warriors was crying out to the Lord, saying, “We want the pure prophetic, Lord!”. As she prayed I began to see a picture of myself wearing a cloak. As I wore it, I disappeared. So, I said to the Lord, “Oh… a cloak of Invisibility”. I sensed from him that I wasn’t exactly right. So I waited. What came to my spirit was the word “Transparency”. As I engaged with that word, I began to see myself on the stage of our worship center. I realized that people could see the outline of my shape… enough so that I was recognizable. But, I was see-through. People could easily look into me and even through me. I was wearing a cloak of Transparency.

I intuitively understood that this really blessed the Lord and it is what he wants for me. He wants me to walk boldly in transparency. There is a burden in my heart, that tells me that he wants that for all of us who want to grow in the prophetic.

Lord, give us the pure prophetic. And, begin by transforming me and clothing me with your transparency. – Amen.

You are a blessing!

Your children’s children could be the ones

Anyone who dedicates their life to God’s kingdom manifesting on earth as it is in heaven will need the span of their life to complete the journey. And even then, they will realize somewhere along the way, that they have been consumed by a vision of something that may not be experienced in their lifetime. Your children’s children could be the ones to actually live out the scenes that play out in your soul as you pray for the unprecedented move of God on earth as it is in heaven. This can’t stop us from praying or discourage us. It needs to actually fan into flame the gift of prophecy as we pray for keys to be released to all nations and generations. As they fulfill their God-designed mission we will all be able to celebrate it together literally for eternity. Keep praying for more workers to be sent to the harvest!

I was deeply encouraged and blessed this morning as I read the following from “The Passion Translation”, “Then Jesus gave this illustration: ‘Imagine what would happen if you were to go to one of your friends in the middle of the night and pound on his door and shout, ‘Please! Do you have some food you can spare? A friend just arrived at my house unexpectedly and I have nothing to serve him.’ But your friend says, ‘Why are you bothering me? The door’s locked and my family and I are all in bed. Do you expect me to get up and give you our food?’ But listen—because of your shameless impudence, even though it’s the middle of the night, your friend will get up out of his bed and give you all that you need. So it is with your prayers. Ask and you’ll receive. Seek and you’ll discover. Knock on heaven’s door, and it will one day open for you. Every persistent person will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he needs. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.'” Luke 11:5-10 TPT

You are a blessing!

The first time I reached out for prophetic ministry

We all need strengthening, encouragement, and comfort. That’s what prophesying is all about. (1 Cor 14:3) The first time I intentionally reached out for prophetic ministry was in the mid-1990s. A small conference I was attending offered the opportunity to sit with one of their prophetic teams in order to receive a word from the Lord.

I excitedly jumped into line. Hearing from God is something I could never get enough of. There have been many times in my life when I wouldn’t have been able to identify that. But, it has always been there. There has always been a relentless hunger and thirst for more.

I sat down with three wonderful women of God… ordinary people, like me, but so beautifully intent on getting a message from God that would strengthen, encourage, and comfort me. I still remember the three prophetic words they spoke into my life: 
1. They sensed the Lord’s great favor over me and on me. He really likes me, enjoys me, and lights up every time and any time he sees me coming to him. 
2. They saw me as a farmer, an ordinary man who is intent on being authentic. They sensed that the authenticity on my life was anointed and that God was going to powerfully use it to help others. 
3. Seeing me in the Spirit as a farmer also spoke to them about my devotion and loyalty to the Lord and my commitment to stay at the work he gives me through all of the seasons, including the harvest. The Lord wanted me to know that I am a man who does what I am told and will stubbornly complete the work.

That was almost thirty years ago in a church facility less than a mile from where I am writing right now. But, there is still life coming from that encounter. The Holy Spirit moved me deeply and quietly that day. They were prophesying to me. They recorded it on a cassette tape and sent me on my way. I’ll let you know if I find that tape some day.

If you know me, you may see some of those same things in me that they saw a few decades ago. I have learned that once a prophetic word is spoken to you and you can tell it is the Lord speaking, it then becomes your work (sometimes painful work) in the vineyard of your life to encourage yourself with it and use it to help you take your stand in your everyday life.

I am so grateful for the blessing of that day when those three friends of Jesus prophesied to me. But, unless I worked with it by faith, you wouldn’t be able to see any of the fruit of it in my life today.

Do you have some strengthening, encouraging, and/or comforting things that have been prophesied to you in Jesus’ Name that you need to go back and work with again? There is still life from God in them.

My story #8

The Loft Sessions – Walk in the Promise

I grew up at 82 White Street. I was given beautiful gifts by my dad and mom. One was their determination to take me into consideration in the late ’70s as I approached my high school graduation in 1980. My dad had received many opportunities to pastor churches in “better” places but we stayed there on White Street allowing me to finish high school years in the school system where I was at home. What a huge benefit that was to me. Thank you!!

Another gift was showing me the world of art. This is the dimension… the reality where I am at home and at peace. My mom was in love with music. It was most definitely her happy place. She meshed that into the way she raised me and nurtured the same love in me.

As I sit here this morning and write while listening to beautiful music by Jeremy Riddle of Bethel Music   I am being swept away into the realm where it all comes alive and the grave clothes unravel and fall off of me… music… art… creating with The Creator.

Will you come with me into this place? Will you let yourself go and free fall to soar on the breath of the Spirit on the wings of the art woven in to your very being?

Our Creator has knit creativity into us. At our response to His invitation it sparks to life and lights the world in a million expressions.

There is a growing congregation of us who have gathered around the world unknown to each other and yet we are waiting for you to express your art as you fall in love with the Son and His kingdom again.

I can’t wait!!

 

My Story #5 – For God’s Sake, Be Yourself!

For those of you who have been following my story, I would love to hear yours! If you are already telling it in a blog or some other way, please let me know 🙂

I met a friend of mine almost 30 years ago. His name is Karl Ingersoll. He was a youth pastor near Jamestown, New York at the time. I had just finished my second year of Bible College and was touring the North East USA with a music & youth camp counselling team. We were on the road recruiting students. But, I was on a desperate search to find God’s calling for my life.

Karl spoke into my life on that night. We were standing in his youth room with about 5o of his youth group students. It was loud and chaotic and we were watching four of them play fooseball. I had never met him before. But, he was asking me to tell him my story. So I laid it out there and he intuitively picked up on the fact that I was aching for some peace over the issue of finding my way in life as a young adult.

I don’t remember all that he said to me in our 10 minute conversation. But, one statement has stayed with me to this day. He said,

“I think you are a great guy and you are going to speak into people’s lives.

God’s gonna use you. Just be yourself. That’s His call for you… be yourself.

It’s gonna be great!”

There was something about that moment that broke something on the inside of me. It was like someone walked by my prison cell and slipped me the key to break out into freedom.

The journey hasn’t been easy and there are lots of haters in the unseen world and maybe a few in the seen realm that have come against me. But, I am still being myself and it has been great! It’s all to Jesus credit and glory. He has never left me and always fills me back up with hope and grace whenever I turn to Him.

And I just want to say today, “Hey Karl!, ‘Thanks buddy’!”