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’!”

 

You’re the best story – the “Re” Network FB page

You’re the best story that I’ve ever read

What could you say that has never been said?

I wouldn’t be the same without the  color of your thread

You’re the best story that I’ve ever read

I started a face book page that is designed for you to share your heart and tell your story. Many of us are shaking off the dust and actually connecting with the glory of God that wants to burn through our uniqueness. Hope you go to the “Re” Network page and decide to “like” it so that you can share your heart.

There are people reading your life like a book. We are experiencing life in a fresh way through the story you are living.

Dedicated to sharing our hearts and stories as we restore God’s creativity in our lives and communities. There are many “re” words that reflect God’s glory like a prism… renew, restore, renovate, rebuild, rework, rethink, etc. Let’s connect and share our stories as we roll up our sleeves and discover the future together.

God is showing His creativity through you. He is calling all of us to love Him with all we are so that we can light up the world with Him in our generation.

Your story needs to be told because God is writing it and He has called you to partner with Him for the good of us all.

Jesus prays for us…

In John 17:20 Jesus says, “I am praying… for all who will ever believe in me through their message.” If you are believing in Jesus today, it is a result of the message that has been passed down to you through many generations from the original apostles. Therefore, this prayer request is for you.

Jesus prayer for you didn’t end that day in the Garden of Gethsemane. The early church taught that Jesus rose from the dead, ascended to the right hand of the Father, was given the name that is above every name & that he poured out the Spirit on all people.  Anyone who will receive Jesus and believe in Him has the right to declare that they are a son or daughter of God. The living presence of Jesus comes to live with us and in us.

He isn’t confined to the past, to a set of beliefs or doctrines. We benefit greatly from studying the historical Jesus and we are nurtured and anchored through our beliefs and doctrines. But, Jesus is more than that! He is alive. To this very day, Jesus is fulfilling His plan in building His Church.

When we talk about “knowing” Jesus, we are talking about having a living relationship with the ascended Jesus. His Spirit is with us and even in us as we are united with Him and each other through Jesus life.

What about Jesus prayers for you? Does he still remember you to the Father? A vital teaching from the New Testament is that Jesus is continually interceding for us. Romans 8 is stuffed full of powerful affirmations of the reality that the Spirit of Jesus himself has entered our lives and dwells in us as children of God through faith in Him. In v. 34 we are taught that Jesus pleads our case to the Father and in vv. 26-27 Paul writes about the Holy Spirit helping us by interceding for us.

As we grow as friends of Jesus & co-workers with him, it is crucial that we remember that His agenda and the desires of His heart are what shape and form us into the Church. It is true that our response is required in order to “flesh out” the church on the earth. But, it is still at His initiative!

Have you surrendered your will, your heart and your daily agenda to Jesus? Have you had the eyes of your heart opened to understand that He is praying for you continually? In order to have our lives shaped and conformed to his prayer in John 17:20-26, there is no other way we can begin other than surrendering each day to His active will and mission in our world and in our lives.

John 17:20-26 Living Jesus prayer

I love this prayer of Jesus recorded in John 17. There is life giving power in knowing that who we are as God’s children and the Body of Christ… the Church is a result of the desires of His heart.

I have decided to write a series of blogs based on this scripture. I am excited about it because there is so much contained in Jesus prayer. Here it is:

John 17:20-26

New Living Translation (NLT)

20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!

25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

Jesus’ heart for us as his people is that we would be one. That unity comes together in our experience of his glory and his love.

It should be the longing of our hearts to live as a resounding “yes” to Jesus prayer!

Let me suggest this prayer that we could pray together in light of this scripture: “Father, I ask you to do a work of the Holy Spirit in my heart that I would love Jesus with the same passionate love you have for him. I also ask you to help me to see & embrace the unifying glory of your presence joining me with all of my brothers & sisters in Christ.” Amen 

Dull ache in my heart

This morning I was reading the book of Acts. This description of the very first church grabbed me…

“There was an intense sense of togetherness among all who believed”. Acts 2:44

As I read those words, I am aware of an old familiar ache in my heart.

What if this is what it is all about? What if the kingdom of God is all about “togetherness”?

What if sin is really anything that violates or threatens or infects or breaks our togetherness with each other and with God?

I offer this prayer for us who “believe” today:

Father God, I ache for togetherness. 

I admit that this ache motivates me to behave in strange ways often… many times in 

destructive ways. But I am hungry, actually ravenous for togetherness. 

There are amazing moments when I indulge my hunger in positive ways toward others. 

But most of the time deep connection with other believers eludes me… and I slip into despondency again…

I believe that Jesus laid down His life for all of us to be deeply connected in and through Him.

Please do a miracle with us and restore an intense sense of togetherness in your family.

Amen 

Living Stones Aren’t Factory Made!

One of the powerful images in the Bible that God uses to help us understand His plan for restoring everything is a picture of a house that He himself is building. He wants to use us as partners in this project. Click here to here what is on my heart about us as living stones… Living Stones Aren’t Factory Made

A 9:11 Wake up Call from Amos… Interesting…. :)

Conspiracy theories are fun! And since it is the 9th month of the year 2011 and September is almost over, I thought I’d better get busy and write this 🙂  I couldn’t resist…

The prophet Amos sent out a wake up call in Amos “9:11”. It reads,

11 In that day
I will restore David’s fallen shelter—
I will repair its broken walls
and restore its ruins—
and will rebuild it as it used to be…

This prophecy was quoted in Jerusalem when the early church leaders were debating about whether or not Gentiles should have to become Jewish to enter the kingdom of God… particularly rough on males I might add.

In Acts 15:12-19 you can read about it. After quoting from Amos 9:11, they decided that since David didn’t make it hard for the pagan Gentiles to come to meet with God in his tent, then they shouldn’t either. Makes sense to me!

There is a wake up call going out to us in our time to make it easy for people all around us to see the awesomeness of God through our lives! We need to awaken to the fact that you and I are God’s plan for changing the world!  Take a few minutes and watch this video by Leeland.  Click here to watch the video Great Awakening.  Maybe you will be the first to wake up?

One man wakes, awakens another
Second one wakes his next door brother
Three awake can rouse a town
And turn the whole place upside down
Many awake will cause such a fuss
It finally awakes all of us
One man wakes with dawn in his eyes
Surely then it multiplies
Surely then it multiplies