Friday, April 30, 2004

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. - e. e. cummings

I read that out of a little book called Posers, Fakers & Wannabes, by Brennan manning & Jim Hancock.

In the first little chapter was a story about Brennan as a monk in his earlier years. He described an episode during a catholic ritual where at the outloud reading of Psalms 51 by a superior, they would enter their cells and whip themselves with coiled telephone wire to rid themselves of their lust.

He shares how he scourged himself in religious fervency and zeal leaving blood blisters on his back and buttocks. He recalls hearing a fellow penitent lashing himself rigorously in the cell next to him. The man was so zealous Brennan was sure the man was going to wound himself severely, so he peeked in the man's cell.

To Brennans horror, bewilderment and dismay, there the man was sitting on his bed with a "bemused smile and a cigarette in his left hand. It was the wall he was whacking, not his own body, thwack, thwack, thwack..."

Oh, how I laughed! Oh how I cried...

Strange reaction, I thought to myself about myself, as I sat there on my couch feeling all to guilty for loving such a display of religious defiance.

The apostle Paul said there are those who teach a version of Christianity that creates a mindset that revolves around "do not handle, do not taste, do not touch" type of discipleship. It lifts up those who can live out "harsh treatment of the body." They are the "extremely zealous" they make you go "wow they are committed." He says they often have a lot of "regulations...human commands and teachings" and that on the outside and to the ear not attuned to Jesus life, they have "the appearance of wisdom."

But you know what? You can whip your butt until you bleed with the biggest, baddest, ugliest religious cat of nine tails you can find in your current hyper spiritual toolbox and still not "restrain sensual indulgence."

Lust doesn't extinguish that actually grows.

Sorry to throw water on your spiritual superman fever that is burning you up but the heart can't be changed by such ways.

You can chain a wild dog to the porch all you want but soon as that little noose is loose...he's gone!

Paul said such thinking that permeates so much of Christian example, conversation and teaching is really "the basic principles of this world." It's not wisdom from above but from below. It's a way of living that Paul says we have to realize that we died too. That's not our path anymore. In fact Paul goes so far as to say...Why do you submit to it's rules?"

Why do we?
Why do you?
Why do I?

Paul call some of their hyper false spirituality tactics "self imposed worship."

How much of what we call "worship of God" is self imposed stuff versus God imposed? How much of our daily Christ life is merely the fruit of human thinking, man made rules and traditions that have arose out of religious minds of the earth not spiritual minds from Jesus?

How much of this dog like butt sniffing that goes on in religious circles is of God?
People sniffing around making sure everyone is in line, being good and not an impostor. Paul called such people "The dogs" in Philippians 3:2. There is a whole lot of uptight Pharisees checking our shorts to see if we are circumcised or not. It's chronic...spoken or unspoken it's there. I know because I have been one for a long time and I am tired of living that way.

I am tired of the pressure to judge, fix, correct, straighten out, spank, corral, frighten, pressure, guilt, condemn, and look down on others. I know nobody says they do that but I have and I see it all the time.

I'm weary of feeling like I have to save the world and that for others to stay saved depends on me and my ability to be good enough. This constant feeling that everyone is teetering on the edge of God rejection and that one slip up from you and their eternal soul's blood is on your hands is too much. My God! That's a massive weight to bear...who can handle such pressure? I don't want to impose such a ball and chain on believers.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Right now, evangelism with big meetings is in a very hard place—not only in trying to keep it going, but because of its results. Three out of four people who make professions at crusades never show up in any church. That’s partly due to the fact that in our notions of evangelism today, being converted has nothing to do with community; it just has to do with your “personal relationship” with God.
-Link via Jason Clark
"One of the many things this story tells us is that Jesus was not brought down by atheism and anarchy. He was brought down by law and order allied with religion, which is always a deadly mix. Beware those who claim to know the mind of God and who are prepared to use force, if necessary, to make others conform. Beware those who cannot tell God's will from their own. Temple police are always a bad sign. When chaplains start wearing guns and hanging out at the sheriff's office, watch out. Someone is about to have no king but Caesar."
-from Bruderhof
The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work that you need most to do and that the world most needs to have done. The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

Frederick Buechner

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

The question is not what you look at but what you see.
-Henry David Thoreau

There is an immense resistance and opposition in the spirituals around us at this moment. I can sense it, feel it and almost taste it. The constant mental hammer blows on my mind have been tiring to say the least. I know that we are moving into occupied territory and that much hangs in the balance at this time.
I know that what we say and what we do matters.

The prophet Joel spoke of "the earth quaking before those who are the army of the Lord" (Joel 2:10). I know and can sense that quaking taking place in the depths of lives and the course of the future right now. I can almost feel the deep fissures that are moving and the sound of old earth breaking and giving way to something else emerging. The ground isn't stable right now, it is moving and that is an uneasy and a dangerous and yet, exciting time. Things won't look the same after a quake. People's lives change after a quake. Somethings die in earth quakes too.

God uses earth quakes, He swallows some in quakes and opens doors that no man could have opened for others.

There are two prophetic men who has been chained in a prison.

There are those who are not saved that can only be saved by an earthquake.

Destiny hangs on a shaking.

I believe this shaking is going to result in a harvest.

I also believe that this shaking is going to result in a releasing of shackles that have held us bound.

The result is that "whole households" are going to be saved.

Our wounds are going to be washed and great joy is going to be released.

I'm just trying to hold on in the "midnight"...(Acts 16:25-36)

Please pray for us.
Scripture is bold and my prophetic inspiration is not:


It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains, a mighty army appears!
How great and powerful they are!

When the rains of God's purposes are about to pour it is often like the dark thunderclouds of a storm that arise. They can be ominous and a little frightening but they also speak of a great outpouring coming. It has been very dark in your life, the storm has been brewing and you are not sure if it is the end or not. But the Lord says to open your eyes and see that the storm is is bringing the rain!
The dawn of God's purposes for your life are unfolding even now, will you see it? A great work and a powerful force for good is marshaling, will you believe it?

The likes of them have not been seen before and never will be seen again.
A NEW GENERATION is arising that will accomplish and do things that have not been done before. There is much ahead that requires a willingness to go into the future with new eyes and an open mind. The church will have to fold up her tabernacle and be willing to move with the cloud and fire of God's purposes. Will you be mobile? Will you be flexible? Are you a wanderer or a settler on this planet?

Fire burns in front of them and follows them in every direction! Ahead of them the land lies as fair as the Garden of Eden in all its beauty.
Behind them is nothing but desolation; not one thing escapes.

The passion that is smoldering in the depths of this company is scorching. They burn and the results of their burning are devastating to all that is safe, comfortable and lukewarm. The fire on them is uncontrollable. It races across states and oceans on the wind of God's Spirit. It leaps across stateliness and ignites on any heart that is dry and ready for a spark of potential. What starts out small grows fast. Nothing the fire touches is the either joins or is consumed or left altered as the fire sweeps by. Many won't know what hit them until it passes.

They look like tiny horses, and they run as fast.
Look at them as they leap along the mountaintops!
Listen to the noise they make - like the rumbling of chariots, like the roar of a fire sweeping across a field, or like a mighty army moving into battle.

Like wild horses they run and what they do, happens fast. They are children of the wild wind not temples of stone. They move unpredictably and quickly. You turn and they are off and running. They move on mountaintops and often leap over valleys of trouble and despair and religious gullies that have many trapped and stuck. They dwell in high places. They abide in mountain mists where God speaks and walks. Look to the hills and you will see that their hearts are up in the burning mountain. A battle is what they are looking for. They make noise. Those who like it quiet better move on because the roar of the fire is deafening at times. The sound of God is a trumpet in this hour and the Lord is crying out with a LOUD VOICE to Lazarus.

Fear grips all the people; every face grows pale with fright.
Fear of loss, fear of losing the known and having to face faith.
Predictability is comfortable. Sin hides in the familiar.

The attackers march like warriors and scale city walls like trained soldiers.
Straight forward they march, never breaking rank.
They never jostle each other; each moves in exactly the right place.
They lunge through the gaps, and no weapon can stop them.

These are warriors not consumers. They are wild men and women who long for something that makes their blood tingle in their veins. They want gasps not yawns.
They long for a company of warriors that guard each other's back. They revel in the skill of their comrades. The stronger each is, the more they accomplish. They abhor the skill of only a few…what good is it? They train for war not peace. They serve one who came with a sword and offered them a life of service without the assurance of peace.

They swarm over the city and run along its walls.
They enter all the houses, climbing like thieves through the windows.

They have a heart for the city not just churches. They are in the city more than in a church building. They know that God has called them to houses, homes and places where the people are living. They don't wait for them to come…they go to them. They have no affinity with butt sitters but ache for the swarming ones.

The earth quakes as they advance, and the heavens tremble.
The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine.

You know when they come and when they leave. They don't slip out of services, slump in chairs, cuddle with quiet. The earth moves and the heavens respond to their presence because there is a God weight on them. He has inhabited their feet and the weight of His glory is on their mouths. Stone yields water to their whispers. The ground swallows the enemy at the sound of their dancing feet. Natural lights go dim at the brightness of their joy. Worldly lights fall from the sky of idolatrous hearts and the true SUN rises in their midst. HE IS AWESOME in their midst. He steals all the attention. They are simply the boring moons and HE is the GREAT SUN. All things revolve around the powerful force of HIS presence. All things are pulled and held together by HIS all consuming presence. You can't compare with HIM. Your fancy pants, your bling-bling and all the shinning lights, colored smoke and charisma you can muster is dung in their eyes. They won't settle for a gold calf in the valley of man's creation when the GOD OF ETERNITY beacons them to ascend the mount of GOD. They don't want Moses or Aaron they want GOD.

The LORD leads them with a shout! This is his mighty army, and they follow his orders. The day of the LORD is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can endure it?

God is leading this generation of the shouting one. They hear His voice and are on the move. A new day is emerging.
-Joel 2:2-11
Rejoice in the Lord your God!
For the rains He sends
are tokens of His forgiveness.
Once more the autumn rains will come
as well as those of spring.
-Joel 3:23

I received a word form the Lord last October about the autumn and spring rains that were spiritually falling in October and would come in 2004. My life was dramatically flooded in October and November of last year. The Lord sent some amazingly reviving rains in the autumn of 2003. A good deal of the prophetic inspiration in that downpour was from the book of the book of Joel and Mark 5, as well as Daniel & Esther.

One verse that was spoken like a trumpet in my spiritual ear was in Mark 5. The whole part where the Lord said that the dead girl had to die but was just sleeping and would surely rise but only by the power of the word of the Lord Himself.

There was only a father and mother, a few disciples, Jesus and a dead girl in the room.
A gathering of generations focused on one thing...another generation coming alive.
Little did I know that in the spring of 2004, we would be launching an all church Saturday night service at New Hope Christian Center. Little did I know that the Lord had a gathering in mind of multi-generations with a heart to empower, disciple and father a new generation to arise and take the land of promise.

The dead girl won't arise without fathers and mothers.
She won't awaken without disciples in the room.
There will be no resurrection life without Jesus, the lord of Life in the room.
There will be no miracle without driving out the unbelieving crowd.
Only those who long for her love will see LOVE awaken her again.
The natural rains are falling outside; can you hear them watering the seeds of autumn?

This last weekend was our 4th BLAZE youth conference and it was so powerful!
Dead things came alive.
Destiny was set in motion for many.
Youth, young adults and adults were impacted by the Spirit and Word of God.
Some were saved, some were healed, and some were called.
Fresh vision for families and lost loved ones was imparted again.
God broke in on clouded minds and hearts and pulled back the veil of the future and showed many the next steps in their journey to apprehend what God apprehended them for.
Cold dead hearts that had given up on loving and being loved were melted and revived.
Drug paraphernalia was placed in my hand in faith that a life of forgetting would be replaced by a life of purpose and passion.
The holy armor of purity was strapped on with renewed passion and zeal.
The shield of faith was taken up and the sword of the spirit was gripped with boldness for the fight.
The troops were brought into ranks and new leaders were born.
Vision was restored spiritually and naturally.
New lands were tattooed on the souls of new missionaries.
Another new worship project was born with a generous and sacrificial gift.

God sent the rains…