And the Answer Is?

I have been back from Ukraine now for two days. Saturday night, after arriving home, I showered and worked out the details for my Sunday and the two services I was to preach and minister at. Then, of course, Sunday was “church”.

The service in my own city was good and God really did bless us with His presence and power – worship touched God’s heart, the teaching was powerful and directly from the heart of God, and then He allowed me to prophesy over two young men in the congregation. Great start to the Lord’s Day. Sad to say that the attendance was dismal. Seriously dismal. Such a contrast to Ukraine.

I know I should not compare but it is hard not to. Here we have everything we could possibly want. We live in relative luxury compared to most of the world. We are safe and protected and have all the modern conveniences that the majority of the world does not have – and we simply take for granted. We have freedom to worship without fear of losing our lives or our lives and livlihood even being threatened. We are seriously blessed and yet we don’t bother to come together with other believers to thank Him and worship the God who blesses us with all this – not to mention the wonderful gift of salvation and a relationship with Him.

This really hit home last night as I taught and lead a small group of people from this same church in evangelism. A monthly class for those who have been trained – to refresh and continue to teach them about telling others Jesus saves. I mentioned to one person that I had missed him on Sunday at worship. He said that he had decided to sleep in. I suggested (rather strongly) that he needed to be with other Christians on Sunday morning worshipping the Lord. He was tired, he said, and decided to sleep in. I forcefully mentioned that I too was tired (16 days of ministry and jet lag) and yet I was there. His answer: you are more disciplined than I am. My response: It has nothing to do with discipline – it has to do with loving God and wanting to be there to express that love in worship as we have been commanded to do. I also mentioned that I was three times his age and if I could do it I did not see any valid reason he couldn’t. The meeting started and the conversation ended.

I thought about it later and again this morning while making some early morning coffee (this jet lag stuff is serious) and realized I had have been a bit quick (and harsh) with my answers in the conversation and so will take him for coffee and chat through what was said and apologize. But, it was such a stark contrast to the young men in Ukraine who are eager and hungry to worship the Lord, put their whole heart and the whole day into the task (without complaining), and still want more coming back day after day to three services a day and taking time off work without pay to do so. And, many here can’t even get to a worship service and give 2 hours to the Lord once a week?

Some who do come just sit and don’t worship or even sing the choruses in a pretense of being involved. They don’t raise their hands. They tolerate the teaching and when they sense it is ending they gather up their sweaters, Bible, and other stuff ready to leave – and God is still doing terrific things and the teaching isn’t even quite finished yet. There is no sign of spiritual life in them. Could be there is no spiritual life in them.

In Ukraine they come for the whole service, are engaged right from the start, put their whole being into the worship, lean forward and suck the anointing out of you while teaching – seriously hungry for the Word. They stay through hours of prophecy over others even if there is no hope or plan for them to receive a word from the Lord during that service. They hang around afterwards and fellowship with one another (not to talk to the guest speaker or receive prayer for a hurt or a need) and even talk about Jesus – sometimes for hours. They are excited about the Lord and His people and what the Lord is doing around the world.

Travelled 260 Km. in the afternoon to another location to teach and minister a second time. This is a normal Sunday for me. But this time, due to jet lag, my son-in-law came with me to drive. I didn’t sleep but it was best not to drive as it gave me a needed rest and I could have a brain misfire without killing myself as the driver taking the car off the road (jet lag affects me that way). The conversation going both ways was great as he is a man hungry for God and willing to serve in any way that he can. He was highly appreciated. We stopped for supper on the return trip and arrived home just slightly after midnight haviong talked about Jesus for over 7 hours total in the return trip.

The second service was okay – it honored God. Worship was good, teaching was still anointed and powerful because God’s Word is always powerful if received – even when the preacher is suffering from jet lag. The people were gracious – and most arrived long after the start of the excellent time of worship. By the time the service ended and I chatted with a fellow jet lag struggler – he had flown in from South Africa with the last leg of his journey being the same flight as mine the night before – everyone was gone. Of course, I immediately thought about how different this is from Ukraine where I left the building one night 1.5 hours after the service ended and there were still 20+ people standing and talking (with no coffee available) about Jesus.

I take full responsibility for the situation in both services as I am one of the main leaders. And, I determined on Monday, as I thought about things, that it is going to change (or I might move to Ukraine where I would find some seriously hungry people). I will not just settle back to a routine that accepts this as a fact of life because it is North America. I want to see God build a church that He would be proud of and willing to attend regularly. I want to see a worship service that answers the question: “God, what would bring you to the edge of Your seat and make You say, ‘Wow! I like their faith'”.

Ukraine #2 – Saturday in Boyorka

We are in the city of Boyorka – a city of 60,000 people – which is a suburb of Kiev and a type of bedroom community. The changes in the city since my last visit 6 years ago are amazing. Much has been modernized and upgraded. More and better stores, good restaurants, and many new homes.

The Church we are working with until next Wednesday evening is called Vineyard (not connected to the Vineyard movement) and has a seating capacity of 125. The building is gorgeous and was built within the last 18 months. A six month project of love, it is a terrific building with tremendous, modern facilities and a great witness to the power and the love of God. It houses a Christian school of 65 which will be doubling in size next year. Also, the church is growing so fast that they are already planning to build another building so they can seat many more than they do currently.

Good to have a place to stay that has a toilet and a seat on the toilet. During my last visits this was one of the major “comforts” of home that was missing. They have given me a bed room / sitting room with my own bathroom and shower. Luxury compared to previous visits. Down the hall – a kitchen everyone on the floor can share. Going there now to boil some water and make myself some coffee – and then Bob, Irene, and I will chat about what we sense from the Lord regarding the direction of the day. First session is at 11:00 a.m. – then lunch – then afternoon session – then supper – then evening service – then fellowship and debriefing and some preparation for tomorrow and then the bed and a well-deserved rest, I am sure.

More later….

It is now 11:30 at night. Is it even the same day? I am so tired. Preached at 11:00 a.m. service and then ministered prophetically (along with Bob and Irene) for at least two hours. Long in-depth prophesies over people’s lives – life changing. Every one done up front so all could hear and they could be recorded. Most worship team people. Went to a restaurant for lunch – soup and salad. Then back at 3:15 for afternoon service. Taught again – and then we prophesied. At 5:25 I was shutting it down but it was obvious that the pastors and the people wanted it to keep going. So we prophesied for 40 more minutes then headed out to supper. It was okay – not great, but food, nonetheless.

Back at the next service by 7:30 p.m. It had started at 7:00. Sorry I missed some of the worship as the worship team is great – seriously great – and the worship is wonderful even though I don’t know any Russian and so did not know what they were singing – I worshipped nonetheless. Gave my testimony at the evening service and then prayer for healings. Gave my testimony because 32 years go tonight I was healed – and tomorrow I celebrate my 32 anniversary of my salvation. Neat to spend it in Ukraine. Really neat.

We prayed from 8:30 to 11:00 for over a hundred people for healings – major healings. And, at least at my end of the line, some wanted me to prophesy over them – and for some of them I did. But the later it got the less we did it – simply asking them if they were coming back tomorrow. If so, we would prophesy over them then – if not, then I stopped and prophesied over them even though it would not be taped. I am tired. Seriously tired.

Tomorrow I teach and minister prophetically at the 12:00 noon regular Sunday service. Then I think I will have Bob preach – then I will take the evening session… that may change when we hold our staff meeting in the morning. Time will tell. And it is time for bed. Now!

Ukraine #1 – Four Countries and Three Planes

Left home Thursday just after noon. Arrived Boyorka just after 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening. I’m being ribbed because on the trans-oceanic part of the flight I fell asleep for an hour. A whole hour. Wow! I travelled from Regina, Saskatchewan to Minneapolis, MN., and met up with my team there – Bob and Irene MacDonald from Saskatoon. Then a quick salad for supper (and gluten- free chocolate brownie) and off to board our second flight – 8 hours – Minneapolis to Amsterdam. A long walk covering a great distance in the airport (good to stretch after sitting -and sleeping – for so long. Then 2.5 hours from there to Kiev – capital of Ukraine.

Met at the airport by Igor – pastor and businessman and leader of the church we will be spending the first 6 days with. My driver from 6 years ago accompanied him and is willing to drive for us while in this neck of the woods. Since I was last here he has been married and has a young daughter. We drove the back way into Boyorka and checked in at the hotel-boarding house we are staying in. Very clean and pleasant … each room separate and with a shower and a toilet with a seat on it. Something new for me as that did not exist in Ukraine when I travelled here 3 times back in the late 1990’s and very early 2000’s.

Out for some good Ukrainian soup – over to see the brand new Church building and meet the worship leader. Then back to our digs. Worked for a while on connecting computer to power sources in my room – borrowing Bob’s new power converter. Had a shower (Oh sooooo good) and then sat in front of the computer to start what I hope will be a daily blog – even if I can’t start posting them until I am back in Amsterdam or Minneapolis. I will post one a day as soon as I can connect…

We meet tomorrow for breakfast – Ukrainian sausage, cheese and fresh fruit. During the meal we will decide which direction our first day of teaching and ministering will take and who is teaching first and then who is teaching second. Then before supper we will decide which direction the Lord would have us go during the evening service … A very full day ahead.

Surf Is Up – Get Your Board Ready

Home sweet home. Whoever coined that phrase must have been in trans-local ministry. So good to be home. What a two weeks it has been. What a blast!

I want you to know – just in case you might have somehow forgotten – that God is extremely good and always and totally faithful. He is all sufficient and meets every need we have. You become much more aware of this when you are on the road ministering. This is especially true when your ministry and whole life is wrapped up in the prophetic. In mean – if God shows up you have a great service and the prophetic flows in amazing ways. If God didn’t show up then the service would be a bomb! He is faithful – amazing – and always shows up and honors His Word and the gifts He has given to us. It’s all about Him and has nothing to do with us. He is faithful!

There are many stories to tell – too many to even sort out. So, forgive me if today I simply teach God’s Word and don’t speak a lot about what transpired in Ukraine. As the experiences and the events settle a bit in my mind and heart I will certainly be sharing many of the adventures with you. But, like Jello, they need to gel first. Thanks for understanding.

God is alive and well and doing great things in many places around the world – including here. He is fulfilling His Word and preparing His Church for a great harvest of souls and a tremendously powerful revival which will involve the young people from every nation on the planet. And, if my spiritual ears are hearing right and my prophetic sense is accurate – it has already begun. It is yet unnoticed but the shaking and shifting has begun and the Tsunami wave will soon appear on the horizon. Surf boards ready – the ride of your life is about to begin.

Sleepless In Seattle

Ralph is currently in Ukraine – ministering prophetically and laying apostolic foundations. This daily blog was written by him before he left and is being posted by his personal assistant. As computer hook-ups allow he will add in “Ukraine Blogs” telling us what the Lord is doing during his mission trip. Also, as time and computer hook-ups allow, he will be personally reponding to any entries you make as he always does when in his study and not travelling trans-locally. He returns on he 22nd of November, 2008.

Read a book a few days ago – long sleepness night in Seattle – actually I was in Regina. Either way, I just could not sleep. Didn’t have too much on my mind and I was not worried. Simply could not sleep. I use to lie there willing myself to go to sleep – getting more and more frustrated as the night went on. Now I simply get up, find my housecoat and a warm cup of herbal tea and read for hours. Helps to relieve the guilt of having bought hundreds of books that I have yet to read – but they do look good on the shelves in my study.

Here is what I read – one line in over a hundred pages of reading that stuck in my craw. Hit home. Bullseye! I hear you Lord. “The Lord loved on them by the power of the Holy Spirit. All they wanted was a touch from Him, and they got it.” (Heidi Baker).

How many people come to our churches wanting just a simple touch from God – and don’t get it? We are so busy with our program and, of course, the show must go on – that people who need to know God loves them go home without being assured of that; people who need a simple touch from Jesus don’t receive one; people who would walk the isle and accept Jesus’ offer of salvation and eternal life – walk away without either.

Now, I am not talking about being seeker sensitive. Even Christians need a simple touch from Jesus now and again to know that He loves them (still). I’m talking about being God sensitive and being willing to give up our plans and programs and perfectly organized sermons to simpl flow with the Holy Spirit and touch lives for Jesus. Isn’t that what this is really all about? Isn’t that what Jesus is really all about? How then did the Church of Jesus Christ get so off base and so screwed up?

May I remind everyone that we don’t preach doctrine or life-style – we preach a person whose Name is Jesus Christ. When we major on doctrines we bore people and drive them away. Jersus did not say “when you lift up correct doctrine…” He said, “When I am lifted up I will draw all men to myself.” When we dictate or preach lifestyle – prosperity, dress code, standards for hair length, prohibitions against tattoos and piercings… we are again imposing societial standards or Church standards or our own personal likes and dislikes upon people and often driving them further away from the Saviour.

Why not preach Jesus – and then let the doctrine flow from and become part of that relationship? Good teaching and correct doctrine are certainly imporant as long as there is a solid relationship established between the believer and Jesus first.

Why not preach Jesus – and then let Him talk to the new believers about whatever aspect of their lifestyle He thinks need to change. We might be surprised by what does not bother Him and what areas He picks on first in a new disciples (or your) life. I think we can leave God to handle His kids and speak to them about things they need to be changing. Do I believe in biblical standards – absolutely. Bible standards – not man’s preferences and man-made rules or North American Christian lifestyles. Back to the basics and let the other things unfold as believers develop their relationship with the Lord.

By the way – have never been to Seattle – but, if invited to preach or minister there, I would say yes and be prepared to go. And, I never did see the movie by that name staring Tom Hanks (I think).

Don’t Tell a Sinner

Ralph is currently in Ukraine – ministering prophetically and laying apostolic foundations. This daily blog was written by him before he left and is being posted by his personal assistant. As computer hook-ups allow he will add in “Ukraine Blogs” telling us what the Lord is doing during his mission trip. Also, as time and computer hook-ups allow, he will be personally reponding to any entries you make as he always does when in his study and not travelling trans-locally. He returns on he 22nd of November, 2008.

There is a song by Debra Morton called “Don’t Tell a Sinner”. One line from the song goes as follows: “Don’t tell a sinner Jesus loves him unless you can love him too…”. That is quite a statement and demands some thought.

I talk to a lot of sinners in passing – airports, people in the next seat on the plane, hotel workers, restaurant waiters and waitresses, people in coffee shops, people in parking lots and on the streets. I’m an extreme introvert but I do this daily because God calls all of us to proclaim, share, preach, teach, and witness to the Gospel of salvation. And, when on the road travelling – I can love on them for a short time as we share a meal, a coffee or the same row on the plane. But, I can’t really be there for them when they need some love with skin on it. I mean, I know God is all anyone needs because He is love but sometimes non-believers need love in human form – you and me – to be there for them.

But back home where I frequent the same stores, the same coffee shops, the same businesses, meet the same people walking their dogs the same time each day like clockwork… On my home turf with the skateboarders skimply clad in swim thongs and g-strings smoking dope, those getting a tattoo, those having their bodies pierced, those panhandling on the street corners, the all-night guy at the gas station close by, the jocks in the locker room where I go to exercise … They need to know more than the fact that Jesus loves them. They need to know that I love them and will be there for them.

That’s a fairly heavy responsibility. To be open to being used by God to show them firsthand His love “with skin on it” leading them, by loving them, closer to the line of faith where they will need to consider the claims of Jesus Christ and accept or reject His offer of love, acceptance and forgiveness.

This is true Christianity. The rest you can keep – prophetic words that are flacky and vague and help no one (and never come to pass); worship that is man-centered; selfish Christians who care more about their little inconveniences than they do about relatives and friends going to Hell because no one is sharing the gospel with them; preachers and teachers that are preaching North America’s version of the Gospel which is not the gospel; believers who don’t – won’t tithe; a prayerless and Bible illiterate bunch who think they can run and control the church they are in and the pastor who they shopuld be serving and not tormenting … need I go on? What a pile of crap.

Let’s get on with the true and only busines of the Church – seeking and saving the lost. This passion for the lost arising out of a deep and personal relationship with the first and best soul winner in the universe – Jesus Christ. Afterall He did say, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men”. If you are not fishing – you are not following. He came to “seek and save the lost” and then told us to “go into all the world” and do exactly the same. It’s called the Great Commission. And He also said, “if you love Me you will obey Me”.

So, if you are not out telling people about Jesus and being willing to stay with them and love them – then you don’t love Jesus and it won’t matter how many worship services you go to and how many love songs to Jesus you sing – your actions speak louder than your words.

There – I said it! Still love me? I too need love with skin on it occasionally.

Never Too Late or Too Bad

Ralph is currently in Ukraine – ministering prophetically and laying apostolic foundations. This daily blog was written by him before he left and is being posted by his personal assistant. As computer hook-ups allow he will add in “Ukraine Blogs” telling us what the Lord is doing during his mission trip. Also, as time and computer hook-ups allow, he will be personally reponding to any entries you make as he always does when in his study and not travelling trans-locally. He returns on he 22nd of November, 2008.

Ever feel like things will never change. The feeling of “been there, done that, bought the t-shirt” and yet you continue to repeat the same pattern, the same vicious circle. You know deep down inside your heart that “if you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always gotten.” But, it seems so hopeless and you just don’t know what to do or how to break the downward spiral.

This could be the situation you find yourself in regarding your finances. For some, it is their marriage. For others, friends and relationships. Still others their sex life – married or unmarried. People feel isolated, misunderstood, uncared for, alone, used, deserted, and hurt.

It is not any better when you talk with pastors and Church leaders as I do. I spend a great deal of my trans-local ministry dealing with pastors and leaders in various churches around the world – in person, by email, video conferencing, or by phone. They too feel isolated, hurt, misunderstood, uncared for, forgotten, alone, and often devastated and depressed. They are wounded and the churches that they lead are also often deeply wounded.

Now this can be downright depressing. You look at all this and wonder where God is. But it gets worse. I do a lot of work talking nwith non-believers and non-churched people as I witness on the streets, in the parks, and at local coffee shops. You listen to them and you look around in the world and the world is in worse shape than the Church and non-believers in bigger muddles than believers. And they face it without the help and the comfort that is promised to followers of Jesus.

Now, here’s what I have com to realize after 32 years of walking with Jesus. It is “NEVER TOO LATE OR TOO BAD” that it cannot be turned around and that things cannot change for the better.

I recently spent 14 hours on airplanes and in airports and so had some time to read and write. In one of the books I was finishing up (plane rides allow me to omplete books I started many months before and never got back to) I read these words:

“It is never too late for God to work. No situation is ever so hopeless that it is useless to pray. No Church can become so compromising or backslidden that God cannot send fresh, new blessing. No people has ever become so sinful that God gave them up and no longer yearned to save them.” Revival Fire by Wesley Duewel – Page 19

I believe that. Why? Because I have seen it time and time again. If we will just stop “doing what we have always done” and “be still” and wait on the Lord we will see Him turn situations around. We will see His will be done “on earth as it is in Heaven”. But, this does not mean business as usual. It does not mean double your efforts in what you are currently doing or trying. No, not at all. Absolutely not!

If you are praying for something and it is not happening and answers are not forthcoming from the throne room of God – do not continue to do what you are doing. In fact, don’t do what most believers do … if it is not working they simply double their efforts. Think about that – if what you are doing is not working – double it and you have two times nothing which will still equal zip. zero, nada, zilch, zero.

Instead, step off the merry-go-round and “be still and know that He is God” in your life and over the situation that you are facing. Do nothing but seek God. I know that is hard as we were raised to be self-sufficient and accomplish things for ourselves. We were taught to pull ourselves up by the bootstaps, suck it in, be a man… but that is the problem. Solving our personal, leadership and church issues in the flesh and by our own efforts is not working. In fact, be honest, it never has worked.

So, be encouraged. It is NEVER TOO LATE OR TOO BAD to see God move and turn the situation around. The Bible says that “all things work together for good…” and it is time, in your life, to prove that this verse is true. Just be still before God, invite Him into the situation and tell Him you absolutely need His wisdom and you will receive it. That’s the promise in the first chapter of the book of James. Let Him know that you recognize that “His ways are not your ways and His thoughts are higher (and better) than your thoughts” and that you are depending on coming to know His ways and His thoughts regarding your situation and your woundedness. And then simply wait on Him.

Your spiritual life need a boost, a shot in the arm? Does your church need to rise from the ashes of apathy and indifference? Do you need a personal or corporate revival? It is NEVER TOO LATE OR TOO BAD with God!

Came for 7 days – Stayed 14

Ralph is currently in Ukraine – ministering prophetically and laying apostolic foundations. This daily blog was written by him before he left and is being posted by his personal assistant. As computer hook-ups allow he will add in “Ukraine Blogs” telling us what the Lord is doing during his mission trip. Also, as time and computer hook-ups allow, he will be personally reponding to any entries you make as he always does when in his study and not travelling trans-locally. He returns on he 22nd of November, 2008.

A long passage – at times boring because you wonder how it might apply to us today. However, it is contained in God’s Word – the Bible – and so is inspired and there for a reason.

Read it slowly and see what you can see…

2 Chronicles 30:6, 9 Then the runners went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his leaders, and spoke according to the commandment of the king: “Children of Israel, return to the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel; then He will return to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria … “For if you return to the LORD, your brethren and your children will be treated with compassion by those who lead them captive, so that they may come back to this land; for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.”

Well, listen to this… If you were to read further you would find that when they returned under Hezekiah the king they worshipped and sacrificed for 7 days as commanded or prescribed for them. Then they asked for more and stayed to worship for another 7 days. Interesting!

2 Chronicles 30:23 Then the whole assembly agreed together to keep the feast for another seven days; so they kept it for another seven days with gladness.

Pastor – ever had that happen to you? You finished the sermon and pronounced the benediction and the people refused to leave and exit for the coffee fellowship corner but demanded that the service continue and that you preach another message and allow them to enter further into worship? Well, I have been doing this full time since 1972 (and preached fairly regularly even before that) and have never had that happen to me.

If it ever does happen to me I will think that I have died and gone to Heaven. I would pinch myself to see if I was dreaming. I would be so overwhelmed that I would be unable to preach or to worship – and that would have to be seriously overwhelmed. I would stand there in amazement and most likely with my mouth open and jaw dropped in total unbelief. I mean – if we even go 10 minutes over the normal 2 hour service….

Here’s what I believe was happening. In the first seven days the people had repented and got right with God. As a result God had come and touched them, healed them, forgiven them, and met with them (He still promises to do all those things). As a result, these people we so thankful that they had hearts that were on fire for God. They were hungry for more of God. They desired to know and understand God and what He was doing. They wanted God in their lives – maybe even in the center of their lives. They wanted to go with God wherever He might be going. They understood that God’s plans and purpose for His people are always good and to give them a bright future. They realized that the world and the flesh had nothing to offer them that evn slightly compared to what God was offering and actually doing. Might one call this revival?

They had had enough of the world and the flesh and whatever the Devil was throwing at them. They were ready for better and more of something different. They had tasted and seen that “the Lord, He is good” and wanted more – much more.

And, so – may I suggest that we need the same thing today. A call must go forth from the apostles and prophets to gather God’s people (maybe this time – on time – for worship) and speak the heart of God to them. The word must go forth that God is calling His people to repent and return to their first love. God’s people must come to realize that these are serious times in the Church -believers need to know that their focus has been on almost everything but God. Time to turn around – repent.

Apostles and prophets need to adjust their focus. There are too many words speaking of blessings and prosperity. Too many “me centered words” coming forth from prophetic voices. Too many words that are coming out are not expressing God’s heart but speak of man’s agenda. The problem seems to be that if a prophet or apostle were to speak the heart of God about the need for repentance and a serious life change – their CDs, DVDs and books – as well as their speaking engagements – would probably stop selling and their income would take a hit. So we hear “bless me” words and not the true prophetic call of a voice crying in the wilderness that is needed today.

Therefore, I suspect we need not be too concerned about seeing a revival come to the Church in North America – or concerned that we will have extended meetings where people are hungry for more of God. We need the prophets and apostles to stand up and speak for the Word of the Lord without fear and lead the Church into the heart of God (repentance with godly sorrow) first … then look up for revival will not be far behind. Revival, in God’s eye, should be normative in the Church of Jesus Christ.

So, let the prophets and apostles send forth a word like Hezekiah to all the people… It is time, says the Lord, to repent of all the spectacular and spooky, smoke and mirors and return to our first love with repentance and godly sorrow so that we can be forgiven and then enter back into the real presence of God. Then we will experience the supernatural that has always been meant to be normative for the Church. Worship will no longer be timed and the world will notice, many for the first time, that the Church is truly preaching the real Gospel o the Kingdom.

I, for one, will be greatly relieved when this happens and am doing my part, as an apostle, to call those I am involved with to repentance.

Answered Prayer

Ralph is currently in Ukraine – ministering prophetically and laying apostolic foundations. This daily blog was written by him before he left and is being posted by his personal assistant. As computer hook-ups allow he will add in “Ukraine Blogs” telling us what the Lord is doing during his mission trip. Also, as time and computer hook-ups allow, he will be personally reponding to any entries you make as he always does when in his study and not travelling trans-locally. He returns on he 22nd of November, 2008.

The most important things that a believer can do is find out what God wants Him to accomplish during their life time. Every Christian is called to live by The Ten Commandmands – God’s Moral Law – and to deepen their relationship with the Lord. Every believer is called to love God with their whole being, love themselves and then love their neighbours as they love themselves. And, every believer is called to “go into all the world and share the Good News…” that Jesus saves (evangelism – soul winning).

But every person who has accepted Jesus as personal Lord and Saviour also has a unique call of God on their life. There is a song to sing – the words and the music God has placed in their heart – and their task is to discover the words and learn the tune so that their unique song is heard on this planet. To die without their song having been sung would be, in my mind, a sin. This is God’s will – God’s purpose – for their life.

Now, having discovered their purpose – and God is not hiding it from them … they need to understand that His purpose (singular) has many plans (plural) that will need to be walked out on the way to reaching and fulfilling their purpose. So, things will move forward, things will change, life will alter, activities will not always be the same, location may radically change, and so on. The plans are many that will help you to reach and fulfill your purpose. This is God’s will for your life.

Jeremiah the prophet said … “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:11-12)

Once you discover the purpose and the plans that God has for your life – THEN you pray (according to these verses) within that will and He will listen, hear and answer your prayers. Every time! Quickly! In amazing ways!

The Bible states: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:141-5)

So, we discover his purpose for our life – unique to us – and then begin to work with Him on the plans that will achieve that purpose. At that point – because of the immensity of the purpose which will never be fulfilled in the flesh or by doing it yourself – you will find yourself in prayer and praying within these plans and the purpose. Because these are His plans and His purpose – His will – then He will hear your prayers and answer them.

This was the secret behind Jesus’ successful prayer life – always praying within God’s Will for His life. He was constantly stating: “Thoe things I hear the Father say… those things I see the Father do…” and so He prayed to hear God’s revealed will for the day, heard and saw what the Father was planning to do through Him (His plans for that day) and then cooperated with those plans. Thus His prayers were always answered.

So, discover God’s over-riding purpose for your life. Then, on a daily basis, find out the details of His plans for your day – pray in line with those ‘revelations’ and watch your prayers become powerful instruments in the hands of the living God as you pray within His revealed will for your life. This is the “secret” to answered prayer!

Ships Approaching Harbour

Ralph is currently in Ukraine – ministering prophetically and laying apostolic foundations. This daily blog was written by him before he left and is being posted by his personal assistant. As computer hook-ups allow he will add in “Ukraine Blogs” telling us what the Lord is doing during his mission trip. Also, as time and computer hook-ups allow, he will be personally reponding to any entries you make as he always does when in his study and not travelling trans-locally. He returns on he 22nd of November, 2008.

I love stories that come out of valid, real revivals. Regretfully, there are few such stories today – because there are few valid or real revivals in the current season in which we are living. Well, to listen to a lot of Christian leaders you would think we were in revival. However, you soon discover that everything is a revival – even the slightest whimper of a move of the spiritual realm regardless of the source of that move. We invite in an evangelist and even before they arrive we label the meetings a “revival”. Boy are we desperate or are we stupid? It’s a meeting – we called it. IF (and that is a big “if”) if becomes a revival it will be because God decides it is – not man.

One neat story I have read a number of times over the years comes out of the real revival during Finney’s time. He would preach God’s Word, discourage emotion, and the Spirit of God would move mightily on the people bringing godly sorrow, conviction – deep conviction – for sin and repentance. It was amazing what would happen.

But, for a season what was even just as amazing or even more amazing was the range of the anointing that Finney worked under – the sphere of influence he had. He’s preaching on the east coast of the United States and ships that are approaching harbor – although still way out at sea – begin to feel the influence of the revival that he is leading on land near the port where they will be docking.

Those on ships approaching the east coast at times felt a solemn, holy influence, even one hundred miles away, without even knowing what was happening in America.

Revival began aboard one ship before it reached the coast. People on board began to feel the presence of God and a sense of their own sinfulness. The Holy Spirit convicted them, and they began to pray. As the ship neared the haror, the captain signaled, “Send a minister.”

Another small commercial ship arrived in port with the captain, and every member of the crew converted in the last 150 miles. Ship after ship arrived with the same story: both passengers and crew were suddenly convicted of sin and turned to Christ before they reached the American coast.

I love stories like that. They are encouraging. Not that I am expecting God to duplicate what he did then in our time – touching crews of various ships as they enter ports or sail up the St. Lawrence Seaway. But, He is still in the business of saving people and that is what revival is all about – the salvation of souls. So, stories like this encourage me. If He could move in wonderful and different ways back in the mid to late 1800’s and tens of thousands received salvation; He can move in the early years of this century and do the same – save souls, that is. He will have new and imaginative ways to do just this and it is always exciting to watch how He does it – but do it He will.

But, let’s not call it a revival until it is a real revival. Let’s not walk in “wishful thinking” or some warped form of “positive confession”. Let’s pray for, believe for, stand in faith for the real deal – the full meal deal – full blown, world-wide revivial without man-made hype, bells and whistles, smoke and mirrors. Let’s not manufacture it. Let’s just wait on God and embrace it when it arrives.

It won’t be hard to recognize – as we will have never seen it before in our generation.