14 November 2016

I Like Messy Church!

Re-entry for a missionary returning to their passport country is a strange process. I'm now into my 9th month walking on American soil again. Still, there are moments that my heart lags behind. I'm determined to press on toward the high call in Christ Jesus, dragging my longings until they come into step with His purposes. I'm well aware that the next phase of this journey may look entirely different than the previous, and that, is encouraging.

It is this current frame of time that breaks my heart and ignites my spirit. Like stirring the embers of a fire and throwing kerosene on the tiny flames that leap up, each new break of my heart allows the fuel to pour out. The sudden bursts create a roaring fire with a heat so intense it causes me to recoil for a moment. And yet, it is in this blaze that I feel more alive, and more free than I have felt in years. As if I've been placed in the fiery furnace, the things that kept me bound are gone and I'm walking free.

Over the past many months I have found myself in the midst of a multitude of ministry situations, in churches, on the streets, in homes, anywhere and everywhere there are people who are called by the name of Christ. Each time there are a number of things that happen. 1) A pleasant memory rushes through my mind. 2) A sincere appreciation for what I am currently encountering floods over me. 3) I experience an intense desire to facilitate a grafting of the two.

One of those experiences happened to me recently in a wonderful local church. The praise and worship is refined. The messenger is allowed a tight 30 minutes. And ministry is completed in a prompt manner so as to not delay the incoming crowd. I do sincerely appreciate what they have accomplished in ministering to a growing number of people. The truth is not sacrificed, the worship is pure, and miracles happen. They have some things very right. It's hard to argue with documented miracles and healings.

I'm a little sentimental for the church that is my history. I miss deep, intimate, praise and worship that takes me to the throne room by way of word pictures and allows the Father plenty of time to fully inhabit the praises of His people, complete with all the highs and lows and instrumental interludes. I'm hungry for fresh revelation that takes the messenger of God a while to unpack, and enables me to savor every morsel. I love the ministry time that is unhurried and everyone leaves knowing that they are valued in the Body. I'm finding that there are few who like those open ended (beginning and middle) services. Many find them to simply be too messy.

I like the messy church. It allows the babies to crawl around underfoot and the toddlers to toddle from one adult to the next, discovering that all these big people smile and wink with an accepting pat. Messy church encourages the budding worshipper to sing from the platform, even if every note isn't on key, so they will come to be assured that they're voice is important to us all. I like a messy church where a message in tongues might not get interpreted or a prophesy has to be judged as not quite right, but the person is valued and encouraged to step out again. I like messy church where it is safe to try, and safe to fail, and yes, safe to succeed.

In the Bush of Africa the musicians beat on plastic bottles and old tuna cans.The worshippers lead out in song and dance sometimes for hours. The children are in the mix and encouraged to enter in the celebration. The message is delivered with bold passion and much demonstration. The kids are up front eating unripe tangerines, dancing in the heat and the dirt. The little guys find their way to a smiling adult and climb up in a strangers lap with tangerine juice dripping from fingers and elbows. But, the joy of the Lord is present. In this place, there is no time constraint. Here, there is nothing more important than what Holy Ghost is saying. Here, church is a hot, sweaty, dirty mess ~ and God likes it.

I think God likes the neat and tidy church too. I wonder if He feels a little cramped by their style, but, I think He likes it, because they love Him, and He is all about them. What's nice in our modern western world is that we have options. "To each his own" can really be "To each of His own". God is the One Who created diversity. I'm guessing He likes it.

In all of this, I find my own sort of diverse desire. From praise and worship, to the preaching of the Word, to ministry time and fellowship, I'm like anyone else, I have an opinion ~ I have a desire that remains unfulfilled. It isn't fulfilled in the messy church. It isn't fulfilled in the neat church. It isn't fulfilled in the African Bush, the Midwest hometown, or it's New England counterpart. It's fulfillment is in the culmination of them all, where excellence and effort are blended together like red and blue, to make the purple robe that royalty longs to wear. It's the bringing of heaven to earth where the messenger and the recipient share the meal, and drink from the same cup. It's fulfilled when you know that I value you, and what you bring, and I know that you value me, and what I bring. It's fulfilled when I can receive your gift with joy and you can receive mine the same. It's fulfilled where there is no jealousy, no selfish ambition, only consideration one for another and honor for whom honor is due. Together we are the church, and together, we are messy.

I like messy church!

The church in the days of the Acts of the Apostles was a messy church. The apostles had to get a revelation of how to contain the mess. No doubt, for easier clean up. Those apostles understood the need to remain focused on prayer and the Word. So, some other guys that were just as full of the Holy Ghost, and character, were given a place to serve the masses, in the natural realm, without taking them out of the spiritual reality. Stephan was preaching while he was serving and oh, did he make a mess! Then, just about the time the apostles had things settled into a neat and tidy framework, Peter comes in with those dirty Gentiles fouling up the place.

From prostitutes pouring out precious oil to the blood of the martyrs being spilled, our carpets were never meant to be kept clean. Sincerity of heart and commitment to the One are sure to mess up the finest worship set and interrupt the best planned sermon. Those who have been forgiven much cannot help but pour out their love on the Master. And those with fire in their bones will give their very lives for the gospel they preach, leaving a bloody trail of soot in their path. 

I believe church was meant to be messy. We are suppose to both give, and to receive. I believe we are expected to fight for our relationships above our personal preferences. It may be a greasy, dirty, bloody mess, but it'll be our mess, and the world will know that we belong to Jesus because of our love for one another!

With His Heart in the U.S.

Where there are no oxen the manger is clean; 
but by the strength of the oxen is much revenue.

05 June 2016

He Will Be Safe

Have you ever watched a trapped animal? The anxiety causes it to behave abnormally. Given enough space in it's confinement, it may pace around. It may scream and squeal in terror, and in anger. It may become so distressed that it becomes ill or actually dies. Others become apprehensive, afraid to make a move or let a sound escape from their mouth. They are paralyzed by their fear.

A person who fears man falls into a snare, or trap. 

In a high stress situation, people who have a greater fear of man, than of God, tend to find themselves either "stewing" in silence, or loudly calling attention to their view. Both are exhibitions of anger. Some are quietly angry, others are boisterous in their anger. Just as any hurting person will naturally hurt people, those caught in the snare of the fear of man will seek to rip and tear at the conscious, confidence and character of others. One does this through "silent treatment" by "stuffing" their feelings and emotions (often speaking negatively 'behind another's back') due to the fear of further torment. Another does so through shrieking or bellowing in hopes of calling attention to their confinement (moving attention away from the behavior that resulted in the snare). 

The former seeks self destruction. They are angry with themselves for falling into the trap and somehow assume that if they were non existent, their perceived captor would feel remorse and also seek to self destruct. In the process they often pull others into their plight. Misery does love company. The latter seeks freedom from their self imposed demise. They tend to think that the painful, shrieking (yelling, teasing, beating) will open the door of the trap they have fallen into. By striking out at anyone who comes near the trap, (sometimes through smiles and laughter) they refuse the mercy that seeks to set them free.

A person who fears the Lord will depart from the snare that is laid for him. He will be safe. 

The fear of the Lord is both the beginning of wisdom and the beginning of knowledge. The fear of the Lord is also a fountain of life that prolongs days and provides confidence. The person who fears the Lord, more than man, will have heaven's view of the situation. He will bring safety to the fearful by extending grace and mercy. His desire is to remove the snare. He will approach others in a way that honors, confirms and edifies. His conversation with bystanders will encourage bold confidence that appreciates ones conscious and builds character.

Perfect (mature) Love casts out fear, because fear has torment.

Everyday each of us have opportunities to either fall into the trap, or save someone else from it. Perfect love is patient and kind, it does not seek its own or give consideration to a perceived wrong.  Mature love protects and prefers others, offering hope as it carries the burden of the situation. True love seeks to remove fear and build confidence. 

He that fears has not been perfected ~ has not matured ~ in love.

It is important that when we look into the mirror, we do not forget what kind of people we are. We are God's own masterpiece ~ individually ~ and collectively. Instead, we must look intently into the perfect law of liberty ~ affecting the lives of people as we live in that freedom. Our tongues are meant to be bridled. Our words are meant to edify the hearer. It's time to depart from the snare and mature in our love for one another.

"Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger, for the anger of man (produced by fear) does not achieve the righteousness of God."                                                                        James 1:19

26 February 2016

Dance of the Butterfly

Monarch butterflies are amazing little creatures. They are considered the “king” of the butterflies, hence the name “Monarch”. 

Recently, I learned some things about the life of a Monarch, and it has been an inspiration in mine. Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year. The four stages of life consist of the egg, the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. 

The four generations are actually four different butterflies going through these four stages during one year. In February and March,

Monarchs come out of hibernation to find a mate. They then migrate north and east in order to find a place to lay their eggs. This starts stage one and generation one.

In March and April the eggs are laid on milkweed plants. They hatch into baby caterpillars, also called the larvae. It takes about four days for the eggs to hatch. Then the baby caterpillar doesn’t do much more than eat the milkweed in order to grow. After about two weeks, the caterpillar will be fully-grown and find a place to attach itself so that it can start the process of metamorphosis. 

It will attach itself to a stem or a leaf using silk and form a chrysalis. Although, from the outside, the 10 days of the chrysalis phase seems to be a time when nothing is happening, it is really a time of rapid change. Within the chrysalis the caterpillar is undergoing a remarkable transformation. 

The caterpllar is reduced to goo. It has no resemblence of it's former self, and no resemblance of the beautiful creature that will soon emerge. 

When it does emerge, it will fly away, feeding on flowers and enjoying the short life it has left, which is only about two to six weeks. During this short time, it has a purpose. It is pollinating the flowers, from which it feeds, in order to assist in their reproduction. This first generation monarch butterfly will then die after laying eggs for generation number two.

The second generation is hatched in May and June, then the third in July and August. These butterflies will go through the same four stages as the first, dying two to six weeks after emerging in all of it's beauty.  Each one fulfilling it's purpose in the pollination process. 

The fourth generation of these little delights is a bit different than the first three. This group is hatched in September and October and goes through exactly the same process as the first, second and third, except for one part. The fourth generation does not die after two to six weeks. Instead, these Monarchs migrate to warmer climates and live for six to eight months, until it is time to start the whole process over again.

My qwery into the Monarch came as the Lord was reminding me of the process of my own life these past few years.  Initially, I was off to South Africa, never to return to the western world. Next it was Mozambique, and most recently Japan. Each move left the people in my life wondering, and often judgeing, what God was, or wasn't doing, from their perspective.

As I walked along in the cool night air recently, the Lord began to minister to me. He reminded me of that first trip to South Africa.
Sitting in a living room with a few others, Holy Spirit crashed in on us and made Himself tangibly present. In that encounter, He drew my attention to a butterfly outside the plate glass window. It was flitting from flower to flower on the various trees within my view. I understood as He spoke to me about "cross-pollination".

There has always been a vision, a purpose, a reason for being in that place, at that time.

Sometimes nothing that I envisioned came to pass. Other times, it was exactly as the Lord expressed to me. 

Every time I have have boarded a plane, I have been well aware that others are watching me flit from flower to flower, thinking my path is scattered and chaotic, without purpose. I have had to come to peace in the knowledge that the Lord is doing something unseen to the natural eye.

In each new adventure, in each new phase of the journey, I have died, so that I could live. My life, is not my own. I was bought with a price. I am my Beloved's and He is mine. I will go where He desires to take me, and I will die a thousand deaths in order to bring life that reproduces.

My butterfly dance continues.  

Last October I had a dream in which the Lord made it clear to me that we (He and I) would be leaving Myoko Kogen, before I had accomplished the task that He had asked of me. In the months following, I have continued in pursuit of what He had requested. I wanted to serve Him like He had asked. But, that time came two weeks ago.

In the natural, a gas leak in the building forced us out. In the spirit, it was the Lover of my soul, emerging to take me away.

Like migration to a warmer climate, I'll be back in the states for a season. As in the past, I know this leaves people wondering "what in the world?". Some will have questions, others will have opinions. Still others will simply open their petals. It is my prayer that as I continue this dance, pollination will continue, lives will be touched and Christ will be reproduced.

With His Heart,

Behold, all things have become new...

18 February 2016

And Closed Up the Flesh

It's "that" season. You know, the one where every one is talking about the love of their life. For many of us, Jesus has held that place in our hearts for far more years than others can imagine.

It's funny, that as the days pass after Valentine's, I'm still seeing posts on the topic, and here I am, writing one of my own.

Valentine's Day has not been an issue in my life ~ ever. I've never pined away on a Valentine's Day, wishing for a date to arrive with flowers and candy. Could be because gift giving is not my love language. Or, it could be that the Lord really does meet the need in my life. At any rate, the holiday for lover's is no issue for me. 

So, why am I writing this?

As I said, I keep seeing posts about it. And, not long ago I had a conversation with a friend who shared some revelation he had gotten about  loneliness. So often Valentine's Day seems to highlight a person's sense of loneliness.

We've all heard that "it's better to be single ~ you can give undistracted devotion the Lord". (Which is true, if you aren't distracted with the potential of being distracted) And many of us have comforted ourselves with the knowledge that our Maker is our Husband and Jesus is the Lover of our soul. All of which are true, of course. But still, even when your relationship with the Holy One is fabulous, sometimes, you want to share that with another person.

We've all been taught that loneliness is an emotion, and therefore, must be put in it's proper place ~ acknowledged, but not allowed to rule. What if I told you it is not an emotion, but rather, a spiritual need, first recognized by the Father? (My friend's revelation that continues to minister to me)

A look back at Genesis chapter 2 tells us that Adam had daily, ongoing fellowship with the Godhead. He had undistracted devotion to, and from, the Lord, yet it was God Himself Who said, "It is not good for man to be alone."

But wait, lets step back a bit further. Why did God create man in the first place? God the Father, had the fellowship of Jesus, Holy Spirit, and the angels. But, He wanted something more. He created man for His good pleasure, yes. He created man to rule and reign on the earth, yes. He created man to co-labor with Him, yes. 

Those things all come out of this one thing ~ relationship. God created man, in His image, and to be like Him, because He wanted relationship. 

He didn't just want servants. He didn't just want children. He wanted a friend. 

And He wanted a Bride. 

Now, remember, man was made like God. In that, it is normal to desire a bride (or bridegroom), to desire a friendship that grows deeper and stronger with time. God was, lonely, even in the midst of the hosts of heaven. So, He made man. It was, and is, the company of His man, that fulfills the Spirit, Who is our God.

This is our God Who says, "It is not good for man to be alone."

The Lord God saw into Adams future and met the need that Adam did not even know existed. It was the Lord Who decided to make a suitable helpmeet for Adam. 

After some trial with no hits, the Lord had to knock Adam unconscious. The guy was so busy obeying God that he wasn't looking for a helpmeet. He was focussed on obeying the Lord, and he was doing a fine job. But God knew he needed a woman in his life.

So, the Lord put him to sleep, did a field surgery and "closed up the flesh". (Hold that thought. We'll come back to it.)

During the surgery, God removed a part of Adam that helped to hold him upright. That rib was a source of support. That same rib served as protection for Adam's heart. And that rib was shaped just so that it helped to form the appearance of the man. It was strong, and yet connected in a way that it moved effortlessly in order to facilitate the ever fresh breath of God, in the man.

It was this part of the man, that the Creator removed. It was this part that He used to fashion a suitable helpmeet in order that man would not be alone. 

He who finds a wife, finds a good thing. Because he who finds a wife, finds a part of himself.

When the rib was removed and Eve was fashioned, God "closed up the flesh". The relationship that God instituted was not one of open, wounded flesh. It was of mutual spiritual need. He did not bring Eve to tend to the flesh and heal the wound. He presented Eve to Adam because He loved him and knew that being alone ~ loneliness ~ was not in his best interest.

God breathed the spirit of life into Adam before Eve was fashioned for him. He separated the flesh, making two people, but the spirit of life remained when He formed Eve. He did not have to breathe into her separately. When He presented Eve to Adam, they already shared His Spirit, it was an opportunity for them to become one flesh, again, by choice.

While Valentine's Day is really, "just another day", the loneliness that is exacerbated in this season is, (dare I say?) by God's design. 

If you have been single a long time and you are wondering if God has a mate for you, remember, it was God Who decided it was not good for His creation to be alone, even within His Own presence. If you have spent years so focussed on obeying the Lord that you wonder if you missed your helpmeet, be encouraged.

That pain in your chest just might be the surgery site. Lift up your eyes, maybe your counterpart has been being fashioned while you've been busy about the kingdom. 

With His Heart,

"The Lord God fashioned into a woman, the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man."

18 January 2016

More Worthy

The story of Esther's reign begins with the end of Vashti's.  Take a look with me at what reduced the worth of one and increased the worth of another. 

The king sat on his royal throne, in the kingdom where he reigned. He gave a banquet for those who regularly spent time in his presence. Here, he displayed the riches of his royal glory, and the splender of his majesty, for many days.

Then, he gave a second banquet. This one for all the people, from the greatest to the least, inviting them into the garden court of his palace. He served the royal wine in a variety of golden vessels. No one was compelled to receive more than he desired, but he could have as much as he liked, for the wine was plentiful from the kings' bounty.

The queen, having full access to the king's bounty, also gave a banquet for all the women in the palace. These, were those who spent time in her presence. She spent many days serving in her area of the palace.

On the 7th day, the king desired to have his bride come into his presence. He wanted her to come wearing her royal crown. He wanted display her beauty to all those who were in the house. But, the queen was busy with her own banquet and refused to come before her bridegroom.

The queen is Vashti.

So often, when we look at this story, our attention is focussed on Esther, as "another, more worthy than she (Vashti)". But, let's back track a bit, and do a little role play, as we look at the first chapter of the story, in first person. Jesus is King. "You" are the golden vessels and "I" am Vashti".

Now, in the days that Jesus walked the earth, He brought His kingdom with Him, everywhere He went. It seemed like an endless banquet to those who were in the house. He displayed the riches of His glory, and the splender of His majesty, in the lives of all who came near, to share in His presence.

When His days on earth were complete, He gave another banquet that continues to this day. This time, it is not just for those in the house but, includes outsiders, as well.

As this banquet is reaching it's peak of divine pleasure, you have been filled with the royal wine of the kingdom. That is, Holy Spirit. The Royal Wine continues to flow plentiful from the King's bounty, into your unique, gold form. Anyone may drink from you. No one is under compulsion. Each one is free to drink according to his own desires.

I too, am giving a banquet. You see, when I was chosen to be queen, I became worthy to access the King's bounty, in all it's fullness. The King Himself provided those who are regularly in my royal presence. It is my great pleasure to prepare and serve this banquet for them. This is a royal opportunity that only I have ~ to serve those who serve me.

I have heard the call of the King. He desires my presence, but I am very busy with these people that He has so kindly given to me. Surely, He doesn't want me to leave this place of royal service ~ right now, does He?

He has requested that I wear my royal crown. He wants everyone to know who I am. But, how can I properly serve the wine while being distinguished from the rest?

The call comes with more emphasis. He wants to display my beauty! What? Doesn't He know that there are more important things to be done? I haven't got time to don my royal crown and be put on display. I'm busy! I am the wife of the King!

If you don't know the end of the story, I'll share it with you.

My refusal to come into the presence, of my beloved, has revealed to Him (and to those in my own presence) the value that I place on our relationship. My refusal to wear my defining crown of royalty has stolen the awareness that the wine of plenty flows from the bounty of the King. My contempt for being displayed as the King's masterpiece has hidden the beauty of all His creation. What can He do, except give my royal position to another, who is more worthy than I?

Repentance is a beautiful thing

Repentance is the act of coming into agreement with God. You change your mind (and your behavior) to that of God. There is therefore now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold ALL things become new. We have an advocate with the Father Who is Jesus the Christ. If we don't do what we know is right, we can come into agreement with God concerning that, and He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If you are in Christ, all things have been made new. You have become "another, more worthy" to come into the presence of your Bridegroom, more worthy to wear the royal crown that defines you as His Bride, and more worthy to be displayed as He very own Masterpiece.

You alone have the opportunity to reveal the value of divine relationship, to display the plenty of the King's bounty, and to expose the beauty of all of His glorious creation. 

Let's return to the story

Allow me to introduce myself. "My name is Esther. I am the beloved of the King. His desire, is for me to be with Him,  adorned with the crown He has placed on my head. He takes pleasure in making sure that others know I am His queen, and He calls me beautiful.

I come running when He calls, and often when He doesn't. I invite Him to my banquet, where I can freely lavish my adoration on Him. I wear my crown with honor and take my seat with dignity. He has chosen me as worthy to rule and reign with Him. 

In our lives we seemlessly move from purpose to purpose and place to place. In one moment we are the gold vessel pouring forth the royal wine. In the next, we are the queen being beconned by the King. Still, in another, we find ourselves as the other players in the story - being served by the very royalty we are called to attend.
How often have we been Vashti? Too busy to respond to the desire of our King, the very Lover of our soul?
If you find yourself identifying with Vashti and the business of your position in the kingdom, today, you can choose to become Esther.

"You...have attained royalty
for such a time as this..."
Esther 4:16
With His Heart,

01 January 2016

Watch This!

It's a New Year, a time when we endeavor to put the past behind us and run our race into the future. God is always present, urging us onward. It was He Who first said, "Stop thinking about what happened yesterday. Don't even be concerned with things of the past."  

He was so excited about our future that He let the proverbial 'cat' out of the bag saying, "Hey, I'm going to do a new thing. Watch this!" God, our God, our heavenly Father, wants us to know that He is the One Who does the impossible, on our behalf. 

How can we not declare His praise?!

2015 was a fabulous year for many people. The list of testimonies of God's goodness in the lives of family and friends is spectacular. He Who began a good work has been continuing it all of our lives. And, it is fun to step aside and "watch" His handiwork in process.

I've been honored to get a glimpse of what the Lord is doing in this new season. He loves to reveal His plan and His purposes, when we will choose to be aware of it. There is no need to call to mind the former things or ponder the things of the past. I'm loving to watch as He makes roadways in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. It's a wonderful time to be a partaker of His abundant grace.

The process ~ the good work ~ is accompanied by the prayers of the saints. You and I, speaking to God, on behalf of one another, praying that love will abound more and more in real knowledge and all discernement, so that the things that are excellent can be approved, making us sincere and blameless. In that, we are filled with the fruit of righteousness, which comes through Jesus Christ.

We get to declare the glory and praise of God!

2016 has come in rather quietly, like a sweet sunrise, with prophetic declarations of restoration and acceleration. I've personally been awakened by the cooing of the Dove whispering of this thing that is springing up.  The anticipation of it is fun and exciting as He supplies the ability to accomplish the mission. 

You too have a precious opportunity to perceive the new thing the Lord has in store. Will you have eyes to see, and ears to hear? Will you be willing to share it here?

With His Heart,


I am confident in this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you is faithful to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus!

25 December 2015

Stable Beginnings

Merry Christmas 2015, from Myoko Mountain, where the mountain is capped with the white stuff, but the streets below are barren! I can only laugh. Weeks ago people told me the normal snow fall is about 15 meters (45 FEET) for the winter. Ski season officially opened two weeks ago and the snow that has fallen melted away as quickly as it came.

This morning, snow flurries twirled around my windows in a teasing invitation to their dance. Ah, but alas, they danced away too soon and left me here with a hot Chai Latte, waiting in anticipation for another song. 

As I sit here, looking out over this quiet little village, I am reminded of the reason for this season. The King of Glory came as a baby in the lowliest of conditions. He slept among the sights and sounds and smells of a stable. 

I wonder about Mary. A young mother, knowing that this child was conceived of the Spirit of God. Knowing that she was favored among women ~ honored to carry this Holy Child. How that whole night must have been bitter sweet, as she held her firstborn alongside the neighing of the donkey, who bore her as his burden.

What must Joseph have been thinking and feeling ~ to father the Son of God? Did the barn in which he helped bring forth this wonder, leave him feeling less than adequate? 

I look out over a nation void of the love that came on that night, so long ago. It can be bitter sweet. There is a sense of honor and favor that I would be chosen to bring that love, and yet the very realization that it is possible, only with God.

This Christmas, many of you are well aware that what Holy Spirit conceived in you has been brought forth. You may be looking at a tiny infant, wondering how you were chosen for such a great task. Others may be looking at a growing child, learning to read and express herself, and you wonder how she made it so well, with you as her guide. Some are looking in the pimply face attitude of a young adult realizing that this, is only possible with God! 

You, like Mary, have found favor. You, like Joseph, have been entrusted with God's most treasured possession. We dare not take it lightly.

As the host of heaven rejoiced that night, so too, we ought to rejoice. A child is born. A Son is given. The government will be upon His shoulders and His Kingdom will have no end. 

Stable beginnings provide a firm foundation for the suspension of the Cross 
that enables us to carry the kingdom

With His Heart,

24 November 2015

Posture Yourself

"Posture Yourself"  

Words I heard in a recent message that had such an effect on my heart that I wrote them down. I posted them where I would see them often. When I set up my new office, I rewrote them and placed the simple hand printed letters in a photo frame on my desk.

Every day I am reminded that I choose how, and for what, I posture myself.

There are seasons in life that the winds of adversity drive the freezing rain of disappointment deep into your flesh like an endless barrage of needles. 

You'd rather be crushed than endure another affliction. 

Perplexity gives way to despair, and persecution leaves a sense of being forsaken. 

The last hit knocked you down and left you wondering if there's anything left of you or your dream ~or has it all been destroyed?

How you "Posture Yourself" will determine your outcome in any season. How you Posture Yourself in the tough times is vital to your ability to overcome, and to be more than a conqueror.

At the heart of affliction, perplexity, persecution and assault, is accusation. The accuser of the brethren is playing the blame game, hoping you will take your place as the victim, in his deadly game. 

But, you have been given a position in Christ. You can take your seat in heavenly places, in Him. From there you can enjoy righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Posture Yourself for righteousness ~ and affliction will result in an increased understanding of who, and Whose, you are.

Perplexity gives way to wisdom when you posture for peace. 

In the face of persecution and assaults a posture of joy will cause you to rejoice that you have been counted worthy to suffer.

Like a quarterback postures himself to catch the ball, you can Posture Yourself to "catch" the good things of the Spirit of God. 

What kind of stance does that Posture require? First, it requires fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, perceiving the value of the blood He shed, and appropriating it in your life. 

Second, you must think on things that are good and true, recounting the testimonies of the goodness of our God in your life. 

Lastly, prefer others, considering them as more important than yourself ~ Their wants, their needs, their lives and their dreams. 

You see, we overcome the accuser of the brethren by the Blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony, and by not loving our own lives (or dreams) even when faced with death.

This week many in the US will sit down to a big meal with family and friends. May we remember that it is a tradition that we enjoy because so long ago, a group of people being persecuted for their faith, overcame by that same Blood of the Lamb, their testimonies and that they did not love their own lives even when faced with death. Instead they postured themselves in righteousness to deal with affliction. They took a posture of peace against the perplexities that faced them. And they postured for the joy of being counted worthy to suffer for the cause of Christ.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost as you POSTURE YOURSELF!

04 November 2015

Until You Need One

Israel's kids had a bad habit of complaining about where the goodness of the Lord had brought them. It seems at every turn they found fault with His journey. The chance to look into the eyes of their Deliverer was exchanged for looking into their own navel. Every opportunity to anticipate a miracle was traded for accusation against the One Who would provide it.

It was early in their adventure that they found themselves on the edge of a major miracle. Mountains on one side, desert on the other, the enemy on their tail and the Red Sea in front of them. 

It was a God designed trap. 

The enemy was pursuing in hopes of overtaking God Almighty. Can you imagine the fear in the hearts of the soldiers? They had just been through 10 plagues culminating in the death of their firstborn sons. What would they have been thinking as they drew close to this people whose God had been fighting for them? Where was their resolve when the pillar of fire moved into place between them and Israel's kids?

Now, the Creator of the Universe is sitting on the circle of the earth, with His eye, He guides the hosts of heaven into position. In the pause of His activity, the enemy creeps closer, they can hear their own hearts beating in their ears. What will I AM do next?

Suddenly God sneezes! The blast of His nostril creates a windstorm so strong it parts the ocean, and so long, that it dries the ground. Israel's kids step out, walking across the dried ocean floor. With the ferver of a madman, the enemy, wrought with anxiety of heart and mind, run into the path forged in the sea. 

On the other side of the Red Sea, Johovah brings the last of His chosen ones onto new land. Like a story writer completing a bad paragraph, He highlights the Egyptian Army, who have come too far to turn back, but not far enough to reach victory, and He hits DELETE!

God waited to open the Red Sea until the enemy was close enough to be destroyed in it's wake.

The next time your journey takes you into unfamiliar territory, enjoy the scenery, it's an opportunity to look into the eyes of Love. When the enemy is pursuing, listen for the knocking of their knees. When the storm winds begin to blow, let them fill you with anticipation.. 

And remember...

You don't get a miracle until you need one!

WIth His Heart,

28 September 2015

He Must Be Very Busy

I just finished a wonderful weekend in Osaka where over 30 believers in Jesus Christ gathered to learn what it means to be truly Born Again. Over the course of the weekend, many in attendance came to understand, for the first time, what it means to repent, the purpose of water baptism, and the gift of Holy Spirit. Some had been baptised in years past, but did not understand the purpose and meaning of water baptism, and chose to be baptised again. I don't have exact numbers, but at least 20 were water baptised and most of them received deliverance at the same time. Each one received Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. But, that's not all. They took to the streets of Osaka, preaching the gospel, healing the sick, casting out demons and baptising others as they embraced new life in Christ ~ born again!


Of those 30+ in attendance, less than 5 had ever led anyone to Christ, layed hands on the sick and seen them recover, baptised anyone or cast out a demon.  In 48 hours time, everyone was equipped to do these basic things and all were active in doing so. It will be a few days before there is a good estimate on the number of healings that took place. No one may ever know, this side of heaven, the number of seeds planted and time will reveal the hearts of those who received this weekend. If they were hard ground, the devil will steal away what they did not understand. If rocky ground with no depth, they will not withstand the persecution that is sure to come. If thorny ground, the cares of the world will soon overtake, but, if they are good ground, much fruit will be received.

This one thing is certain, the first of many discipleship lessons has been taught, demonstrated, practiced, and in some cases, mastered. The teaching was accompanied with equipment, and now, like a child who has had the training wheels removed and permission granted to ride around the block, these new creatures in Christ have the freedom to go forth and enjoy bringing the kingdom of heaven near to all.

Sometimes it is good for those of us already living this supernatural life, to sit in on such a weekend. It is refreshing to relax and receive from others. Personally, I grabbed hold of a couple of nuggets that I already knew to be true, but were presented in a unique way. They seemed to ride on the wind and add new fuel to my own fire. 

Everyone has to find their course as they allow the Rivers of Living Waters to flow out of their belly. For some, street ministry is not our 'natural' bend in the river  
flow with Holy Ghost. But still, we recognize the necessity of being ready in season and out. For me, stopping for the obvious one, is easier than stopping everyone.

For example, this morning on my way to find a quiet place to do what I needed to do today, I stopped off at a friend's office and was asked to share about Heart of Christ International with a small group of people who did not know Jesus. As I shared briefly about having a healing room available, one man mentioned that he had pain in his back. I took his hand, gave thanks to Jesus the healer, and told the pain to go in His Name. He stood, twisted around and with a broad smile of amazment reported the pain was gone. Then, looked at me, and with a question in his voice said, "Jesus? Jesus name?" It was the perfect moment to share the love of Christ.  He asked, "How often can you call on the name of Jesus?" He was surprised to hear there is no limit and responded that "He must be very busy."  It was so much fun to explain that He is present everywhere, all the time!


With His Heart,

*For more information about this weekend, go to or check out their facebook dedicated to Japan.

17 September 2015

If He Calls You

Have you received a word from the Lord, and immediately began to seek confirmation? Have you ever wondered why people of God, His sheep who hear His voice, need another voice to assure them that they have heard? When the Lord speaks, different people, respond different ways, and for different reasons. It's good to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, as we walk alongside others. In this way, we have opportunity to come to know their heart as they follow the Lord in obedience.

It's not at all uncommon for one to hear direction from the Lord, know it is the Lord, and then ask for confirmation. Why, would someone certain that they have heard, have any question?

Gideon put out a fleece. The Lord answered the way he requested. Barak asked Deborah to join him for encouragement. She did, but it cost him the honor of the victory. And David used the Urim. A process whereby God spoke sovereignly, aside from the mind and will of man.

The disciples cast the lot to determine Holy Spirit's choice of Matthias. James received the message to the Gentile believers, confirmed through the counsel, what seemed good to them and to Holy Spirit. And the Lord spoke sovereignly to Paul, in a vision in the night, to go to Macedonia. 

Many perfer the path of Barak and the apostles in counsel at Jerusalem. They fear going alone, or the issue was presented to multiple people, on behalf of multiple people. Few are opposed to Gideon's fleece or the disciples lots. But, what is one to do when the Lord speaks sovereignly through the Urim or a vision in the night?

What do YOU do when the Lord speaks sovereignly to you?

Do you go for reinforcements - finding someone who is perceived to hear the Lord better than you? Do you gather with others seeking unity in their counsel? That seemed good to Holy Spirit.

Do you take that word and weigh it against a fleece? Do you cast the lot? God was not offended in either case. He ansered, leaving no doubt.

Or, do you have a relationsip with your heavenly Father that enables you to trust His voice? He reveals His pleasure in unshakable confidence in His goodness.

He said, "My sheep hear My voice - and the voice of another, they will not follow."

Is He true and every man a liar? 

Will we trust Him more than we doubt ourselves? 

There is something key in Gideon's fleece ~ he had no doubt that he had been visited by an angel of the Lord. The issue was not in what he had heard, but in what he had experienced, or more accurately, what he had not experienced. Gideon had heard the wonderful stories of Almighty God, but he had not witnessed them for himself. Likewise, the disciples in the upper room had been told by Jesus, that He was sending them another helper, One who would teach them, but their experience with Him apart from the man Jesus, was lacking.

Barak on the other hand, felt an increase in confidence, if Deborah went with him. His insecurity cost him the honor the Lord had prepared for him. He willingly laid it aside. Whereas James had been brought together with the other apostles specifically to discuss an issue that concerned the church as a whole.

As a leader, David sought the sovereign will of God. While David regularly submitted himself to the prophet, no man could take the place of his personal relationship with the God Whose heart he was after. So it was with Paul. A man who knew who he was and what he was called to, honored and respected other apostles, prophets and leaders in the church, still, none of them could replace the voice of the sovereign God Who had called him. These men of God, didn't need a sign, neither did they require the security of man. 

They were the security of those who required it. They provided the sign to those who needed it.

When will you have seen enough wondrous miracles to no longer require a fleece?

How long will you give the honor intended for you, to another?

When will your obdeience to the sovereign word of God, become the security and provide the sign to another? 

If you need a fleece; obtain one.
If you need to cast the lot; do so.
If you are willing to give the honor meant for you to another; lay it down.
If you are called to the counsel; show up.
If you have the Urim; use it.
If He calls to you in the night; join Him.

A vision appeared to Paul in the night:a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia,  concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them." Acts 16:9-10