Ukraine Mision trip – Starts Now

Ralph will be leaving for Ukraine Tuesday and will arrive in Ukraine on the 11th of February to begin ministering on the 12th. From the 12th to 18th he will be in the city of Boyorka. Then on the 19th he travels 11 hours by car to his next location. On the 20th and 21st he is ministering at “All Ukrainian Youth Conference in the city of Krasnoarmeysk. Then a Sunday ministering in the same city. From February 23 to 26th he will minister to leaders in a prophetic school in the same city. On the 27th of February he drives to the city of Dnipropetrovsk and ministers there Friday evening, 3 services on Saturday and then the Sunday service. Monday, March 2nd he drives to Kiev and flies out on the 3rd of March to Canada (God and the weather permitting). If you are in need of something while Ralph is out of the country you can call Elizabeth at (306) 536-9741 or 1-866-615-6470, extension 702.
Ralph’s office will reopen on March 9th, 2009.

Two More Sleeps

This Tuesday morning I leave for Ukraine and three local churches that I will be privileged to minister in for a total of 43 services in 18 days. The total trip with travel (if all works according to plan) is 21 days. I will return on March 3rd and then take two days off due to jet lag which does not allow your mind and body to function in unity for the first 48 hours.

I would greatly appreciate your prayers for this trip. Overseas mission work is always challenging due to the regular pressures of teaching and ministering prophetically for 15 to 18 a day. However, add to that the issue of jet lag when you first arrive, the cultural differences, the change in diet (my kingdom for a real Diet Coke), a strange bed, no regular routine, and people the whole time you are awake. And, the fact that you have a “shadow” 18 hours a day as your interpreter is with you constantly. And, when out for a walk late at night by yourself, the feeling that you are actually in a foreign nation and if someone stops you there is no way you can communicate. All emotional energy drainers. So, your prayers are very, very important.

Overseas I do not have the luxury of internet connections and so I will be unable to answer your emails. As well, responses to blog entries (we will post a new one almost daily – written before I left) will be answered after I arrive back in Canada and have an internet connection available – for some that will mean Tuesday afternoon the 3rd of March as I sit in the Toronto airport waiting for my last flight.

We are excited about this trip as we know it is God-ordained and so we are expecting great things. I will be journalling the whole time I am there on my mini-computer (the size of my Bible) and will post them slowly one-at-a-time after I arrive home again…

Minding My Own Business

I am sitting in Tim Hortons (the best coffee in the world) having a cup of coffee, minding my own business and working on my mini-computer. Actually I am writing to meet a deadline and in the south end of the city because my dog is a few blocks away having a much needed haircut. Saving gas and time by staying in the same end of the city and working out of one of my many offices built for me by Tim Horton’s.

It’s mid-afternoon and the seniors are all having coffee. Whoopes – what am I saying. I’m a senior too – interesting. Well, two ladies are leavng the coffee shop and they see my small laptop computer and stop to talk to me about it. I’m really not wanting to talk – I am there to write so I can meet a deadline that I am facing. But they start asking a pile of questions about the computer … well, fair game or should I say – might be good fishing.

So, I comment on it being a complete computer and yet smaller than my Bible. Good start Ralph. Brillant! Yes, she has a rather large Bible too. I use it to write sermons and other things about the Bible. Well, she doesn’t write but she did use computers while working for this company – in fact, she and her friend (who had just left to warm up the car) were on their way to the coast to a curling event as a result of working with a similar event here helping the reporters in a computer room which had laptops but most brought their own and they had different coloured ones – blue and pink and who would have ever thought that a sports reporter would carry a pink computer….

It went absolutely nowhere – she could out-talk me and that takes some doing. I would take a breath and she had the conversation changing directions and going north – in the total opposite direction to where I had it going before I stopped to take a breath. She totally out manuvered me. Totally.

However, I enjoyed the little fishing expedition. Evangelism is fun when it is a way of life and every conversation an opportunity to try to share the gospel.

Please Mr. Postman

I am back at the post office outlet at Shoppers. Shane with the new piercings is not there. The British lady with the great accent who manages the post office at this location is one duty. We have a decent relationship which has frequent opportunities to grow as I go to get the mail there at least three or four times a week.

No one is in line before me or after me – so an opportunity to see if I can get the conversation turned towards spiritual things. She asks about my upcoming trip to Ukraine. See, I am here frequently and know almost all the staff and share at every opportunity I have – as well as listen to them. This is one of my favourite fishing holes.

I’m looking to see if I can get the door open a crack. Instead she opens it the whole way and invites me in. She is getting married in August to a truck driver. He is on the road a lot but home tonight and so she needs to be thinking through a big supper. Normally it is a crock pot type supper when she is by herself. They are being married in August – the 15th. She does not know the pastor – just his name – nor did she know which church he pastors (I asked … it’s called fishing). A referral by someone who uses the post office as frequently as I do.

Well, by this time there were several in line and I had finished my “post office” business but definitely have not finished the conversation nor fishing. This one deserves revisiting. So, I thanked her for sharing and moved out of the way so she could help the other customers. But there is potential here to get into the gospel – to see why she is wanting to be married in a church when she neither knows the church or the pastor – so obviously is not attending that church and probably not attending any church.

So, I think tomorrow I will go and mail a letter or something….

See, even going to the Post Office can be a massive amount of fun!

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A New Relam of the Prophetic

When I minister prophetically in a local church – the pastor or a leader of the church gives me a list of people they would like me to prophesy over. I call them up one at a time (or as a couple if they are married) and without any indication of what the Lord would have me say I step out in faith and say “the Lord would say…” and hear the prophetic word for them at exactly the same time they hear it. Read more

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Character – The Basis of An Apostolic-Prophetic Team – Part One

When you read the New Testament it quickly becomes evident that most apostolic men and women worked in teams. Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:43-46), Paul and Silas (Acts 16:19), Paul, Barnabas Judas and Silas (Acts 15:22), Paul and Timotheus (Philippians 1:1), Paul, Silvanus and Timotheus (Acts 16:19) and Paul and company (Acts 13:13).

However, I believe these teams were not just “thrown together”. I believe that the members of these teams were carefully selected by the leader under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. Each team was assembled for a particular apostolic trip and those on the team had the skills and giftings needed to fulfill the purpose of the ministry being undertaken. Read more

Kill a Pastor – Earn $250.00

Small article under “Quotation Marks” in the January 2009 edition of Christianity Today (page 13) …

“The going price to kill a pastor is $250.00” Faiz Rahman of Good News India, on rewards offered by extremist Hindu groups for killing of Christian leaders and destruction of churches in Orissa.

$250.00 to kill a pastor or destroy a church building so that the gospel of salvation is silenced in an area.

The gospel of salvation as found in Jesus Christ and His substitutionary death on the cross is also in trouble in North America. But it is not an external force or a group of extremists that is killing the good news that Jesus saves. In many cases it is the Church leaders who are destroying the churches and silencing the gospel.

Several examples come to mind. Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Florida that once attracted 23,000 worshippers has just had the bank file foreclosure proceedings and demanded immediate repayment of a $12 million loan on the property. Needless to say a little troublesome and a possibility that they may lose the building. The church shrunk to half its original size when the co-pastors announced their divorce in 2007.

The building being used by Global Destiny Ministries was taken back by the building’s owners due to a failure of the leadership of the church to pay $511,000 in back rent. The pastor was escorted out of the building as a church service was actually in progress. This all began to unravel after the pastor was charged with assaulting his wife in a hotel parking lot in August 2007 which eventually led to their divorce this past June.

The current leader of The Cathedral at Chapel Hill in Atlanta, Georgia announced that their building is up for sale (valued at $24.5 million) as the church has shrunk drastically (from 10,000 to 1,000) due to a number of issues . The current one being the senior pastor’s abandonement of Orthodox Christian doctrines. Quoting Charisma’s Fire in My Bones by J. Lee Grady (January, 2009) “Today, (the pastor) has embraced the inclusionist doctrines of Oklahoma pastor Carlton Pearson, who left the faith in 2003 and was labeled a heretic by a group of African-American bishops. The (young Atlanta pastor) now preaches that all people, not just Christians, are saved … an unthinkable deception.”

So, we don’t need religious extremists to take out a pastor or burn down a church. The Gospel is being silenced in many ways already. And, if not totally silenced, at least badly damaged by the high profile preachers and teachers who are walking away from the doctrine of the faith.

The solution. Simple. Stick to the Bible basics – preach and teach Bible truth. Make sure you are not teaching opinion – but rather straight Bible doctrine and truth. Make sure that your own religious and cultural background are not clouding your understanding of God’s Word and your understanding of the Church of which Jesus is the Head. That your own hurts and current situation are not causing you to see things in a wrong light and thus twisting Truth. Don’t base any doctrine on one or two verses or someone’s experience in the Bible. Just because Paul was invited by the Lord into the Third Heaven does not mean you are invited – nor that you can invite yourself any time you wish. You cannot base a doctrine or a teaching (sermon) on your own interpretation of a verse in the Bible – it must always be preached and understood in context. You cannot duplicate an experience found in the Bible – unless the Lord states “and do thou likewise”. Dead saints do not show up and speak in person to someone today. That is forbidden by Scripture – and you are talking to a demon. Be careful of angels … the devil’s angels have been deceiving millions for centuries including the Mormons. Just stick to the basics of the Bible.

It is time to get back to the basics – or go there for the first time in some cases. it is time to be very careful of anyone who has a fresh and new “revelation” or a “prophetic” word for the Church – careful to really check every detail to the Bible. To do so would mean to toss most of the revelations and prophetic visions and dreams the church has entertained over the past decade into the garbage.

It is time to “contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) and stop peddling our own form of “born again religion” based on personal visions, dreams, revelations, visitations, and screwed up theology and poor Bible interpretation and application.

Thank God we don’t have a price tag on killing pastors and destroying church buildings. But help us God because it is happening anyway – at a much greater cost than $250.00 each time. The cost – lost souls going to Hell because we have not been preaching the basic foundational truths (Ephesians 2:20) and apostolic doctrine (Acts 2:42). God forgive us and help us to get it right this time and stop following after every new wind of doctrine and fable that comes along.

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The Sent-Ones – Pioneering Spirit

Apostolic anointings are pioneering anointings. Those with this anointing are the vanguard leaders in moving outward from the local church into the world to plant local churches and thus expand the Kingdom’s influence. When one is sent out from a local church (apo-stello) then that person enters the apostolic anointing and begins apostolic ministry.

To be apostolic means to be sent forth by the Holy Spirit with a specific task to accomplish – usually linked to establishing a fresh expression of the local church where the Gospel is not yet being preached.

Read more

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The Coming Opposition and Then Persecution

I believe it was Dietrich Bonheoffer – a German pastor, seminary professor, and theologian who spoke often about “cheap grace” and “easy believeism”. His concern was that the Christian message was simply not being embraced because we lived with and accepted sin in our life – using the idea of grace to receive forgiveness as the reason why sin in its various forms did not concern us (cheap grace). And that the Christian faith was about taking up our cross daily and living a sacrificial lifestyle so as to invest in the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations and people groups around the world. He believed (and I share that belief) that to be a believer and embrace the Christian faith meant willingly embracing sacrifice and being willing to die, if necessary, for what one truly believed. He did die at the hands of Hitler just as World War Two was drawing to a close. Read more

In 2009 I Will

Like Paul, forget those things which are behind, and press forward

Like David, lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence comes my help

Like Abraham, trust implicitly in my God

Like Enoch, walk in daily fellowship with my heavenly Father

Like Jehosophat, prepare my heart to seek God

Like Moses, choose rather to suffer than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season

Like Daniel, commune with God at all times

Like Caleb and Joshua, refuse to be discouraged because of superior numbers

Like Gideon, advance even though my friends be few

Like Aaron and Hur, uphold the hands of the leaders of my church with prayer and support

Like Stephen, express a forgiving spirit towards all who seek my hurt

And, realizing that I cannot hope to achieve these objectives by my own strength, I rely upon the power of God for, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians4:13)

Thanks to Holy Life Tabernacle in Brookings, S.D. for this. A great church proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Savior for over 27 years. Pastor David Kaufman – a great man of God and a good friend.