A Foundational Issue

Long before there was organized religion, before there was a tabernacle or a temple, before Abraham and the Jewish nation, God’s chosen people – before the Law as handed down through Moses and before grace and truth was revealed through Jesus – there was prayer.

A son is born to Adam and Eve called Seth. The Bible states “At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:26b).

Man called out to God in their times of need for they instinctively knew there was a God who loved them and cared for them and wanted to help them. The same is true today for God has not changed. What has changed, however, is we can now personally know this God to whom we pray – and walk with Him daily because of Jesus and the Cross. So, not only do we have the privilege of praying for our own needs we can also join in His plans and purpose as we pray according to His will for others. And, here’s the exciting part, we get to do this with others. It is called a prayer meeting.

We are called to gather together to pray and His promises are sure and true – He will be there in our midst as we pray. More than promising to hear our prayers – He is promising His presence in a special way when we gather to pray together according to His Word and His will. (Matthew 18:20)

That gets my adrenalin flowing and my excitement begins to mount … God promises His special presence and power when we gather together to pray. Whoa! Powerful and exciting, never mundane or boring. A priority in the life of Christians for many centuries.

The Church of Jesus Christ advances on her knees. Prayer is foundational to all we do. Personal prayer and corporate prayer. Both must be a priority in the life of the believer and the life of the local church. And the Lord would say: “Call upon Me and I will answer you”. (Jeremiah 33:3) So, prayer is an absolute must – personal and corporate.

But prayer meetings are not well attended. Many local churches have given up having coporate prayer as no one attends but the pastor and, out of discouragement, the leader simply prays by themselves at home instead of warming up a building, turning on the lights and waiting – only to have absolutely no one show up.

Around North America people and organizations are opening “House of Prayer” locations where believers come to pray – and some are operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. And I am sure this is a good thing – prayer always is. But, the Lord stated: “My House (the Church) shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”. So, along with the IHOP movement and houses of prayer in capital cities we need to see local churches rise up and begin to pray for the lost and for the many nations of the world where the Gospel still needs to be established.

I admit – prayer meetings are not always exciting. But they are necessary as the Lord’s will is released upon the Earth when His people pray according to His Word – which is His expressed will (1 John 5). A corporate time of worship and seeking God’s face crying out for the salvation of the lost and the spread of the Gospel of salvation worldwide may not always be dynamic – but the results are always wonderfully thrilling … for the results of our prayer times together is always changed lives.

So, I am doubling my efforts in personal prayer and not giving up about corporate prayer – in spite of recent discouraging attendance and the apparent lack of dynamics in the prayer meetings. I will faithfully pray and push forward in what I know is the revealed will of God for His Church – standing in faith that the Church will truly fulfill her destiny and become a “house of prayer for all nations” once again. Please join with me and stand in faith praying…

Ukraine #7 – It’s That Time Again

Another day – three more services. I didn’t teach until evening as another team member taught twice – the morning and afternoon sessions. In the evening I taught a simple teaching on “How to Begin to Prophesy”. After each service we had extended times of prophetic ministry. With each person taking up to and sometimes over 30 minutes we are slow moving but very thorough.

The good thing is that we are getting some fairly rapid feedback – with the pastor or others telling us how accurate the words are and how they spoke to the immediate situation as well as long term plans in some cases. And, because of the high quality of some of the people, some of the words have been very powerful with people being transplanted to Muslim nations and other areas of the world to further the spread of the Gospel.

When I first came to this nation many years ago I had the prophetic sense that this was the nation to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. And, I have had that sense since the beginning of this trip as well. It has been confirmed as I note the prophetic words – the length and depth of them – over some of the younger generation. They are called and anointed by God to take nations for Jesus. What a group of people to be spending 8 days with. It has been very tiring but very rewarding.

Today’s highlight was the last young man we called up – and I had asked two young men from the Orthodox Church in Moscow, Russian to come up and help me to prophesy. They had worked with me yesterday with several of the prophetic times. This time they had helped – and done well – with a number of people. When this 18 year old boy came up to be prophesied over – I had spotted him as a candidate yesterday – I decided the regular three team members would sit back and let these young men minister prophetically to their own generation. They did an excellent job and I let them know it. We gave a little guidance at two spots but they basically carried almost 40 minutes of bondage breaking and prophetic words to this young man. It took quite some time to break through and break things down but they sensed the need to do so and did it. It was dynamic and powerful and I told them afterwards how proud I was of them.

This school of prophecy is more than just more mental information. We are trying to design it as we go along to allow some hands-on working times and this worked out fine. As they went along I was able to explain to the 250+ people some of the ins and outs of prophetic ministry adding to things taught during the day and being seen upfront at that time. Great learning experience. Great experience. Great night.

We found out later from the pastor why we worked so hard to break through and have this young man receive what it was the Lord had for him. We were right to have pressed in and not given up. It was good to have the luxury to do so – people stayed right through it and were very attentive which is interesting considering it was close to 10:00 p.m. and this third service of the day had started at 6:15 p.m.

Tomorrow – three more services, three more teachings and three more 2 hours+ periods in which to prophecy. And I wonder why I am tired!

Ukraine #6 – It Has Been a Long Day

It is now 1:00 a.m. on the 13th of November – I think that is a Friday but I’m not sure. When you are in worship services and meetings for 12 to 15 hours a day every day the days all run together. Not easy to keep track of which day or even the date. I had to count from Sunday which I remember was the 9th – the anniversary of my salvation.

Up early this morning (Thursday) after a very long day and night yesterday. Packed and got ready to go. We left the “hotel” (ask me about it at some time in the future) at 11:00 a.m. and left the Boyorka / Kiev area by noon. We arrived in this city – Kransnoarmeysk at 11:15 p.m. tonight. Same day but hardly seems like it.

We stopped four times for a bathroom break and to stretch – one of them we had soup and salad as a late lunch. The rest of the time we travelled at 100 to 110 Km an hour and 1200 Km later we arrived in this city of about 50,000. I will never complain about Saskatchewan (the province I live in) roads again. They are a super highway compared to what we have been travelling all day – I mean all day.

It was a great drive. Our driver – Sasha – is a former truck driver that was saved by the Lord Jesus Christ a year ago and moved from where he lived to Boyorka to be near an alive church and the people who were discipling him. He didn’t speak any English but that is okay as I don’t speak any Russian or Ukrainian. But we had one of our interpreters with us and she was great. So, we had a great five-way 11 hour conversation about numerous things and especially about Jesus and His Church. Amazing trip.

Then, upon arrival, to the orphanage / home for young girls where there is one wing for those who come to speak – a separate room for each of us and a common bathroom and shower. Better than in past trips. Privacy is nice as I feel like I have been living most of my life among company since I boarded the plane in Minneapolis last Thursday. Supper at 11:45 with the pastor and his wife (Dima and Inna) and now I have unpacked and I am sitting on the bed typing the blog. No desk in the room – and no chair. It’s okay – we won’t be in our rooms much of any day. After everyone else has had opportunity to use the bathroom – I will go in and brush my teeth and head to bed. Full day – good day – one that glorified the Lord. Great day, in fact! I am tired.

Tomorrow – the first day of the conference here in this city we start at 11:30 walking to the Prayer House / Church building / large home. They had to cut off the registration as it seats 240 and they are full. It will be hot and crowded I am told. They have a fan up front for me. 12:00 a leisurely lunch in the “pastors’ room” at the building – then 2:00 p.m. the first service.
I will use the first service to get my spiritual bearings – a reading of the people and where things should go. It will be basic and simple – an hour of teachings (30 minutes English and 30 minutes translation) and then 2 or so hours of personal prophecy. Then a supper break.

The evening will be more powerful as we will, by then have read the spiritual atmosphere over the city (during the walk to the building) and the spiritual reading of the people (their level of knowledge about the prophetic, their enthusiasm and anticipation levels) and the anointing on the church and the worship in the church. So, things should seriously explode in the evening service. Don’t expect it to end until well after midnight. Going to be a great day – I can feel it. Need to plough through the spiritual atmosphere as much more oppressive here than in Boyorka.

Time to Strip and Get Naked!

While in Ukraine recently four men from in a church in the Republic of Kazakhstan gave me several gifts as a thank you for what the Lord had done for them through our team’s ministry. One of the gifts was an authentic wine skin from their nation. A really special gift that arrived home safely in my long lost luggage. It sits near the desk in my study to remind me of these great men and their country (I hope to be there with them in 2009 as they have extended an invitation – and I have already invited my friend Dima (our second host) from Ukraine and Miroslav my interpreter to go with me). It also reminds me of the Lord’s comment.

Luke 5:37-39 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is better.'”

In other words – without going into too much depth about this comment – one obvious conclusion is that “Before the new wine can be poured, a new wineskin must be created.” (Brother Yun – Living Waters – page 266).

Well, in my humble opinion, the Church in North America is in trouble. I know, that was a blanket statement – but true in most cases. We have tasted the “old wine” and seem satisfied and think the “old” is better than the “new”. But, in some nations they were prevented from tasting the “old wine” due to communism and so are beginning to experience the “new wine” and like what they are seeing and tasting. They have no desire for the “old wine” because they have no idea what that might be and what that might taste like. They are too busy doing as the psalmist states: “Taste and see that the Lord is good”. They are on the cutting edge of a new move of the Holy Spirit and are enjoying the taste of the “new wine” that the Lord is pouring out. And, interesting enough, they have a new wineskin that hardly resembles what we have here in North America. Thank you Jesus!

This “new wineskin” includes a lot less structure to their Church – a distinct lack of titles and “official positions” and a simple “do the ministry” and put your hand to whatever you see in front of you that needs to be accomplished. If there is a base guitar player missing at this service and you can play base guitar – go for it (just one of many, many examples). This “new wineskin” is one based in servanthood and loving the Lord, self and each other with their whole heart. This “new wineskin” is to do the will of the Master which is to “seek and save the lost” and that is priority number one everywhere you turn. Their worship is also a“new wineskin”. Yes, they have a few of the songs we sing here – but the vast majority of their worship choruses are home grown and new … and are seriously focused on loving and worshipping Jesus unlike a lot of the songs here which are declarations about the Lord and songs we address to one another about the Lord. And, their culture is much more entwined in their music and worship than the “no name” brand of worship we have here. There are no time limits to worship and the Word as they simply enjoy being in God’s Presence and will stay as long as the Lord wants them to – no time frames and so no time pressures.Great “new wineskin” in my opinion. It’s not that they are not busy people because they are and they have all the pressures of family and finances that we have here and more so due to the economic situation they face that does not exist here. They stay because they seriously love the Lord and find strength and refreshing in His Presence. And oh so much more!

I believe that in a short time they will be sending apostles and prophets to our nations here in the West to help us to discover this “new wine” and to teach us what the “new wineskin” should look like. But first we need to desire the “new wine” and walk away from the “old wine” which is familiar and comfortable. We need to defeat the spirit of religion (born again religion is still religion) and tradition that keeps us tied up and focused on things that are seriously insignificant and of little value to the work of the Kingdom and the salvation of souls. We need to become a “lean and mean machine” as the Church of Jesus Christ in North America and free ourselves from all the baggage that we have accumulated over the spiritual seasons we have lived through. Time to strip and get naked and let the Lord of the Church give us His “new wineskin” to cover us and equip us for the worship and the work that is set before us so that He can pur out His “new wine” into us.

I for one am ready and pray that it happens soon… I am weary of what now is and am not sure how much longer I can work with the apathy and lethary and lack of concern for the lost – when there is so much that can be done elsewhere in the world where people are actually hungry and excited about the Lord. (Excuse me for expressing my personal opinion and a feeling or two. I will stop before I really get going here).

From Goo to You by Way of the Zoo

The StarPhoenix – Saskatoon, Thursday, October 30, 2008 on page A3 – an article entitled “Author at odds with church over book debunking Satan”.

Main point of the article: Jim Brayshaw – a firefighter in Saskatoon and deacon in Elim Tabernacle of Saskatoon (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada / Asemblies of God if it were in the United States to help the reader with Church context) – has written a book (500 pages) that douses the existence of Satan. He states that the idea of a fallen angel who rules an after-world in Hell is a man-made construct.

The book: “Satan – Christianity’s Other God, Volume 1 – Legend, Myth, Lore or Lie.”

As a result of the book and discussiions with the leadership of his church – He has been removed from eldership at Elim and removed from the congregational roles.

“His arguments have academic support”, said Mary Ann Bevis, head of the department of religion and culture at the University of Saskatchewan. She states (in conclusion) “…there is some scholarly support (to Brayshaw’s claims). There is evidence to back it up.”

My commentary on the issue without having read the book – I would rather not waste my time and money purchasing and reading a book by someone who calls themselves a Christian and yet denies that God’s Word is true and accurate and the basis of all beliefs in the Christian faith.

First let me say – been there and done that. I was ordained in a denomination back in the 1970’s that went the way that this author is now heading. That denomination is, in my mind, in serious trouble today and has lost it’s biblical foundation and thus the Bible truths that would allow it to be called “Christian”. It is not just a matter of interpretation – it is a matter of denying biblical truths long established in the Christian faith (and in some cases established thousands of years before in the Jewish faith).

Here is how the decline goes:

1> Adam and Eve are not real people – it is simply a myth made up to help ignornant and superstitutious people understand where man originally came from. Now that we know we evolved from “goo to you by way of the zoo” we no longer need to believe this myth.

2> If Adam and Eve did not exist then we no longer believe that man’s heart is, by nature, Inherently evil (the Prophet Jeremiah) and we no longer have a basis upon which to build the doctrine of original sin.

3> This is good because as soon as you toss any one part of the Bible out and it becomes acceptable to do so – you have opened the barn door and no section of scriptures is safe – you can now toss out anything you want.

4> The next thing to go was the understanding that Mary was a sexual virgin. The word virgin got redefined somehow into meaning “a young teenager”. So, Mary was not a virgin and thus Jesus is not divine – fully God and wholly man at the the same time.

That’s okay because we really no longer need a Savior because we are no longer born with a heart that deceives and we are no longer born into a world that is fallen and thus in spiritual darkness.

5> Thus Hell (and by implication the Devil) is no longer needed because without a Saviour from sin (which no longer exists) God will welcome everyone into His Heaven (Universalism) and He does this because He is love and would never comdemn anyone to Hell (punishment).

6> Along the way – somewhere in the journey – actual sin gets removed because we adopt the theology that “every man does what is right in his own eyes” as was adopted by people in the days of the book of Judges (Old Testament). Then it was wrong – now it becomes right … it is called “situation ethics”.

So now we have removed the Devil, sin, Saviour, Hell, punishment, and judgment and demoted Jesus to simply being a “teacher” and a good man living by a tremendously powerful philosophy (which other Greek and Roman, Babylonian and Persian philosophers had also lived by before Him).

I watched the denomination that I grew up in, their seminaries (in one of which I earned a Master’s degree), and churches move from belief to unbelief…

Then over the years I took a second Master’s degree from another (different) denominational seminary. This seminary belonged to and trained leaders for a born again denomination. Over the ten years or so of taking classes here and there to fulfill the requirements of the degree I watched this seminary and its academic staff take the same journey that my original denomination had taken – only they went through the stages in a slightly different order and a lot faster … all in the name of solid academic pursuits.

And now – here is an elder in another supposed born again (and Spirit-filled) denomination stating the same proposition I heard 30+ years ago … do we hear the sound of the toilet flushing once again as another group of believers heads down the toilet and into the sewer of unbelief.

I go on record as supporting the senior pastor of Elim Tabernacle and would go so far as to question this former deacon’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came to rescue us from the pit of Hell and set us upon the Rock. It is time to “earnestly content for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

And, before you jump down my throat, let me say that this kind of thing does not threaten me or my faith and this blog is not a knee jerk reaction of some doo-doo bird who has not looked long and hard (and in an academic way) at the facts backing up the basic beliefs of the faith I preach and proclaim daily on the streets and in the pulpits from which I teach and preach.

I am well informed and well read and have researched all the basic beliefs of the Christian faith for many years reading all sides of the argument. And, I have personally met (and physically seen and touched) the Risen Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Lord of lords and King of kings, and the soon coming Judge of the living and the dead. He is alive and is sovereign God in conrol of my life, this world and the entire universe that He alone created. I am not threatened by this type of supposed academic honesty and “pursuit of truth”.

I do simply wonder why the man did not keep his personal journey into unbelief private instead of apparently trying to correct or rescue the rest of us from what he thinks is intentional deception on the part of the Church.

Ukraine #5 – God Is So Good

Our last day at the church here in Bogoslav, Ukraine. We are picked up at 10:30 a.m. for the first of three services. The first services starts at 11:00 – then 3:00 – then 6:00. Well, the 11:00 a.m. service did not end until 5:00 p.m. and so we decided that we would not try to hold the 3:00 p.m. service. However, after a very short and quick break for something to eat we went back at it at 6:15 p.m. and worshipped and ministered until 11:45 p.m. It was a long but GREAT Day for the Lord and His people.

I am amazed at the prophetic words that the Lord gave to me to speak encouragement and hope to His people. They flowed easily (except when near the end and really tired) and had depth and tremendous substance. Each day the Lord has encouraged me as well. Today a man came up to me (about my age) and showed me a typed copy of his word from the Lord from my visit ten years ago and told me – with face beaming – that 80% of it has already come to past. Encouraging – and just when I needed to be encouraged.

One lady came up late last night – the day before I had prophesied that there was a new job opening up for her in the business world and that it would be an excellent job on an executive level. She just wanted me to know that when she arrived home that night there was a job offer waiting for her (phone message) from a top travel agency in Kiev and that the position being offered was at the executive level. God is so good.

The worship has been awesome – they worship from an hour to an hour and a half each time we begin a service. The Ukrainian people put their whole hearts into the worship. Dancing, clapping, marching, waving flags, singing, shouting, hooting and hollering, praising, singing in the Spirit, silence … the worship team changes every time – averaging 14 in membership – a variety of different types of drums, trumpets, clarinet, vocals, guitars – acoustic, base, rhythm – numerous “sound makers”, pianos, and various other assorted instruments depending on the service. These people are very musical and the worship seriously honored God and the people are certainly focused worshippers. Of course, I don’t know any Russian or Ukrainian so I do not know what they are singing. However, it was not hard to worship with them – just raised my hands and heart and basked in the worship going on around me. You would have thought that you had died and gone to Heaven it was that good – not great – no, that doesn’t describe it either – majestic.

Today was our last ministry day here and so we kept going until we finished prophesying over everyone we could. I am sure that, in total, we have prophesied over 75 people in serious depth since we started to teach and minister on Saturday at lunch time. These words are substantial – 20 minutes each I would estimate – and contained much to encourage, direct, and transform those who received them. Each one spoke directly to the person. When we were praying over a couple there was usually a word for each one separately and then for the couple as a team. As well, most couples who had their children in attendance brought their children to the front as well and so we had the honor of prophesying over the next generation of the Christian Church in Ukraine. And it was a serious honor.

There are many young Ukrainian men who have tremendous callings upon their lives. And, we had our share of prophetic words over these men. God is up to something here in Ukraine. As well, many people – especially the young men – received words about going to other nations to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is part of the role and destiny of this nation – but also a major part of the local church we were working in (more on that tomorrow).

Wednesday is a travel day – 10 to 12 hour car ride (I asked not to go by night train as planned as I wanted to see the countryside as we went so far south into an area I have never been to before. We leave at 11:00 a.m. with all our bags and books and my portable office … we are stopping for supper on the way. Breakfast this morning was cheese and ham and a coffee followed by chocolate. Different. We have a driver and one of our interpreters is going with us. They will stay overnight and then drive back tomorrow. So good of them.

More as I have opportunity.

Afterthoughts #1 – Ukraine

In both locations in which we ministered -Boyorka and Kransnoarmeysk the people sang “How Great Is Our God”. The words include:
How great is our God (sing with me)
How great is our God (that all may see)
How great, how great is our God
We sing the same song (in English) here in the churches where I minister. However, it is so totally different in Ukraine. And I mean totally different and not just the language (Russian).

Half of those attending come up front and cram together to better experience “corporate worship”. The rest, I am sure, would come to the front as well if there was actually some room to stand. It is wall-to-wall people swaying and dancing to the music, singing with all their hearts, minds, soul, and strength. Makes one tired just to watch them. They have their hearts raised along with their hands in praise and worship to their God – and it is very evident that they have a deep and personal relationship with this God whom they love, serve and would die for. Everyone – I mean everyone – in the building is engaged with the song and the act of heart worship to God. God’s presence is tangible. The anointing is so strong one can, at times, hardly stand in the presence of God.

We sing the chorus – and then we sing it again – and again – and again – and again – and again – and again – and again … you get the idea. It goes on for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, count them (no – don’t bother, simply enjoy) 15 minutes… People are “lost in God”, some are on their knees, some on their faces, some just stand really still with hands raised and faces looking up into Heaven (it is almost like Heaven has opened up above the sanctuary). I’m in tears just standing there with my heart open and hands raised. It is a holy and awesome moment in time. One that brings me to tears once again just remembering and recording.

It was exactly the same in both locations. These people are so in love with their God that they stand and sing the same words over and over and over again as they are literally touched by Heaven and seriously impact the heart of their God.

In the midst of this, in both places, I felt a new feeling come over me. Not a phsical feeling (like a chill) and definitely not an emotional feeling as I ‘felt’ nothing in that realm. It was a spiritual feeling and after many days of thought and prayer I am convinced my initial understanding or revelation is correct. It was God allowing me to “feel” what He was feeling as He watched His children in total self-abandonment in the midst of worship that honored, glorified and even magnified their God. It was an experience (twice – separated by 4 days and 1200 Km.) that I will never forget but hope to experience again soon!

North America – it is time to wake up and learn from those nations where we send missionaries and ministry teams. In many ways they have much that we don’t have – and what they have is what is important. We may have buildings and large numbers, programs and finances, radio and television ministries, big names and powerful ministries – BUT they have God! I mean it – they have God’s heart and His attention. And, if my prophetic sense is right – they will be the leading force in evangelizing the whole world one nation at a time. This will include sending young men and women to evangelize Canada and the United States of America. We will not, in my opinion, see revival without them for they have the heart and attention of God the Father in a way that we do not. AND, they are willing to obey -going anywhere in the world He may send them regardless of the cost. They are sold out to God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and put our lack of commitment, zeal and passion to shame. We ought to be seriously ashamed of the lethargy, lack of commitment and zeal that we have in our churches. We need to return to our first love – and, by the way, that’s not comfort and pleasure – IT IS JESUS!

Ukraine #4 – The Need Is So Great You Could Cry!

Near the end of the service late on Saturday night – after worship, teaching and prophesy – I felt led to call a healing line. Well, less leading and more knowing. It was the 32nd anniversary of my own healing which I received the day before I was saved by the Lord Jesus. So, I had given a small part of my testimony during the teaching and felt it appropriate to call a healing line.

The front filled up very quickly. At first we thought that this church was well trained as everyone in line had another person behind them – we thought to catch in case they went over in the Spirit. Not so. As a third line formed behind them we realized that all of these people were in lines patiently waiting for the three team members from Canada to pray for their healing. Such an overwhelming need and one could feel the desperation in the people – a desperation bordering on hopelessness – and a great desire on their part to see God move and bring healing to them.

One of the first ladies I prayed for had about 10% sight in both eyes. I asked her (through an interpreter) what had caused this. The answer: a drunken hunsband who came home and tried to strangle her to death causing permanent damage to blood vessels and other things in the back of her eyes. So, the inevitable question that needed to be asked: Have you forgiven him? Her immediate answer was: “Yes” she had – totally forgiven. In fact, she was still married to him and living in the same home as he was. So, we laid hands on her to receive her sight. I think in the next two days I prayed at least twice more for her.

But she was simply one of many many people in line for healing. And, many of the needs were for physical damage done by spouses who have a major drinking problem or issues with drug addiction. Both of these are major issues in Ukraine as they are here as well. But, the kind of government help we are given here does not exist there – and so it is the Church that is stepping into the void and trying to help both the addict and their family. I can’t even remember how many in similar situations I prayed for that night – just a lot.

The healings line continued for over an hour and a half and was simply the way the service ended. People were patient and waited their turn. For those who were not returning the next day – I prophesied over them as well as prayed for their healing. Everyone has a cell phone with recording abilities and so even through it was not done publicly with the church’s sound system recording them – they would go home with a copy of what the Lord said to them in the prayer line. I probably prophesied over 10 or 12 people in the midst of praying for healings for everyone. If they were returning the next day I promised them I would remember and call them out first in the morning service to prophesy over htem publicly. And I did just that the next day. I don’t believe I missed anyone that I had promised to do this with.

Went back to where we were staying and I was exhausted. But it was a good tired. God had touched numerous lives and some were healed immediately while others saw some improvement and I hope that their situation continues to improve until they are walking in total health.

I do ask the Lord occasionally – where is the power you promised me prophetically almost a year ago? And where are the healings that Your people need? I believe a new resolve entered my heart (spirit) that night in Boyorka to no longer settle for a few healed and a few others ‘somewhat’ better. If we can do what Jesus did and even more as John 14:12 promises then I want to walk in that – not a few years from now but right now. And, I am willing for the Lord to change anything in my life that needs adjusting or removing so that I can walk in the anointing of power and the Spirit that Jesus did (Acts 10:38).

Join with me, please in praying that we – His ambassadors – would walk in that power and walk in the Spirit and bring His gifts of healing and deliverance to people – saved and unsaved – so that they would come to know Jesus the Healer as Lord and Saviour.

Foundational Change Needed

Much of the difference between the great preachers and average preachers may be the time taken for study, reflection, prayer, and reading. This is not time spent grinding out the sermon for next Sunday, but rather it is time spent sharpening the saw … so that when the time comes for actual sermon preparation, they are sharp.

Many years ago the pastor went to his study. Somewhere over the years “study” got changed to “office” and now the pastor goes to the office to work. This has resulted in less time in God’s presence and less time in His Word and study. As a result, sermons are often thrown together at the last moment or on the night before the service and the people, although fed, are not fed quality food from the Word.

Pastors and Christian leaders are called to read and to study. Prayer, meditation, reflection, silence and solitude are all givens in the life of a pastor – or should be – and then upon this foundation we are to build our life of study and indepth reading of His Word. However, if we go to the “office” and paperwork, counselling, activities, programs, staff and people are our immediate focus then we lose out on this time alone with the Lord in the study … and our people lose out on Sundays and any other time that we are called upon to lead them and teach them.

It is time for all this to change – immediately. I happen to teach, on average, five times a week and so I don’t call for this change lightly or without due consideration. I have learned that the more I am called on to teach the more time I need in prayer, reading, and in-depth Bible study to feed my own spirit and prepare my own heart. It is not time specifically focused on preparing the teaching – it is time spent preparing me!

If my well is dry I cannot expect to be able to water thirsty sheep when I stand up to teach them a “now word” from the living God and His Word. In fact, it won’t be a now word at all if I don’t invest that time. It will be something pulled from an old file or an old sermon… and not fresh manna at all.

When on the road ministering it is often more difficult to find the time and “place” and “space” to have quality time (and a quantity of time) with the Lord. But, I still work at achieving it. I get up earlier than everyone else and read and write… I stay up after everyone has gone to bed if necessary. Of course, when on the road ministering – once the day begins the study time is usually lost as I minister all day and evening and spend time with people throughout that time. So, it has to come before or after as that is all that is available. It must be a priority and I have to be intentional.

At home it is easier. I have a separate room as a study – no printer, no phone, no place for others to sit and talk (distract me). A large room with a study desk, my reference books and the books I am currently reading and researching, and a laptop which has only “study files” in it. Here I read, write, pray, study, and spend time with God. Then, when I have had a few hours at this early in the morning (this morning it was 5:00 a.m. onwards) then I shower and go to the “office” – another room just next door. But not until I have sharpened the saw in God’s presence and in His Word… so that my well is full of life-giving water for others to come and drink … do I go to accomplish the rather mundane activities of office work. Today I just could not face the office and so I left and went witnessing.

But, on-the-road or at home I have made this a daily discipline and an intentional part of my daily life. If you are a pastor, five-fold minister, lead others or simply want a vibrant relationship with the Lord I hightly recommend you do the same. Find the “place and space” – place in your timetable and space in your house – to have an uninterrupted time with the Lord daily regardless of how busy you are. You will amazed at how your level of passion and love for the Lord increases and how much more effective you will be when ministering to others…

Ukraine #3 – What, Church AGAIN?

It is Sunday and we are going to Church – or is that coming from Church. Seems like we spend a lot of time in Church recently. Good thing as God is totally worthy of our praise and worship and I can’t think of anything better to do then to be with His people worshipping Him and serving Him by serving His people.

So good to see so many lives touched by the prophetic. I mean impacted. Changed. Altered forever. Transformed. Different – powerfully touched. It gives God no greater joy than to bless His children and to speak into their lives so that they can not only seek and find Him but also the plans and purpose of God for your individual life. What a thing to have disclosed and what a blessing to then be able to read it over, pray about it, cooperate and see it happen right before your very eyes.

This is the anniversary of my salvation – 32 years ago.

What a day – standing room only at both services. We were to have three services – 12:00, 3:00 and 6:00 but the 12:00 o’clock service ran into the 3:00 o’clock service as we had a 5 hour service. Great worship, teaching on God’s people being His chosen way to win the world (I taught), and then ministry time. We prophesied for over 3 hours – working as a team of three and prophesying over each person or couple in front of the whole congregation. It was awesome. It was amazing. It was exciting. It was truly wonderful. God showed up from the first song and the anointing grew stronger and stronger as the service went on. The worship involved dancing, flags, great songs (several of which we knew the English words to) and went for almost an hour and a half. Then everyone stayed throughout the prophetic ministry and other things that were accomplished by the Lord.

The thing that strikes me about this Ukrainian church is the dedication to worship and serving the Lord. The sanctuary was full long before the service started and stayed full right through to the end of the first (and combined second) service. They are hungry for God and what God is doing today. They are serious about the things of God and seek Him and worship Him with their whole hearts. Amazing people. Amazing worship. Amazing service.

We had opportunity to minister to pastors and church leaders from at least four or five nations. We were asked to pray and prophesy over them near the end of the worship segment of the morning service. So, without any type of warning or opportunity to prepare ourselves off we went and prayed for (prophesied over) them. God touched their hearts and lives bringing dramatic healings and speaking direction into their churches and ministries. Then we called out a number of people from the congregation and prophesied over them – going for another hour and a half. Long service. Great God. Wonderful hunger.

The evening started at 6:15 (we had basically an hour for supper) and we cut it off and shut it down at 11:15 p.m. We were simply too tired to think any more. We were plowing just to get the Lord’s prophetic sense for the people near the end – just too tired. We, of course, disappointed a number of people but the interpreter was working with us for that segment of the day was also the worship leader and he was tired and still had over half an hour to drive home … so we called it quits and crawled to our rooms to fall into bed.

The evening consisted of prophesy right after worship as there were a number of people (young people) who needed to hear from God before heading home. Then Bob taught on what to do with the prophesy you have received. He did an excellent job of relating to the people as he preached and transferred some great information to hearts and heads – all in a very limited time frame.

The Spirit of God showed up really strongly during one part of the service where we were dealing with generational curses. I commented that we need to focus on God more and not always on the work of the Devil … and then we prayed God’s generational blessings upon the next generation and the next one down from there. Parents laid hands on their kids – some of those without fathers began to weep and wail deeply and so older men went to them to hug them and be with them. It was a solemn and holy time and so we did not rush forward into something else until we were sure people had had enough time to receive what the Spirit was doing.

God’s will was done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I went to bed tired but aware that I had the honor of watching a great and wonderfully loving God touch many people’s lives – and change hearts forever.

In the evening service there were also at least a dozen adults who had been at the first camp that I taught at here many years ago…The leader of the service had them raise their hands so I could see how many had been impacted by that camp when they were in their teens and early twenties. God was encouraging me and I was seriously encouraged, believe me.