Are You Nuts?

Being a Christian and pursuing the Bible’s teachings on living the Christian life is anything but sane. In fact, try it – I mean honestly live the way Jesus told us we should – and you will be classified as insane, nuts! This is okay because being sane usually means being logical, predictable, serious or even safe and secure. Christians are called to live in a dynamic relationship with Jesus who is God and thus live a life that, like His life, is highly illogical, paradoxical, volatile, and dangerous but exciting. The world does not understand those who walk by faith as we are unpredictable and cannot be controlled or manipulated by others because we have Jesus as our Lord and different values and beliefs upon which we are building this :life” we have to live.

A truth: the more you live life on God’s terms, the more the world will see you as anything but normal. The more status Jesus has in your life, the more you will run up against the status quo. The more Jesus becomes the Prince of Peace, the more you will disturb the peace. The more you bear thorns in your side, the more you’ll be a thorn in the side of the world and, yes, the Church.

We are literally suppose to be seen as nuts. Crazy. Unpredictably spontaneous. Exciting to be around and yet, at the same time, fun to be with. Serious and passionate. Powerful and playful. We are a series of contradictions when seen through the eyes of the world. We live by a different set of standards and values and so are driven by things the world does not see or comprehend. In fact, Jesus said (to Nicodemous) that unless you are born again you will not see nor will you enter the Kingdom. You also won’t understand those who have entered – you will think they are verifably insane.

God helps those who help themselves – no! When we were still sinners, Christ came and helped us by dying on the Cross. God helps those who want to be free of sin.

We look at outward appearances – God looks on the heart as must we.

The world, like Doubting Thomas, say, “Seeing is believing.” Jesus said that unless we believe we will not understand or see.

Christians and the way they live should be disturbing and unsettling to those who do not know or follow Jesus. They should look at us and say that “you guys are nuts.” To stimulate the economy and get back to “normal” we are told that we should be spending our money and purchasing things. Have what you want – spend. Not the kind of normal the Bible says we are to live. As believers we should lay aside out wants and even some of our needs, recognize that most on the planet do not have adequate food or drinkable water and then do something about it – like live on less and help them more. That’s crazy – no, that’s Christian. That’s nuts! Yes but it is time for the followers of Jesus to live biblically even if it means being considered to be totally nuts.

It is time to go nuts.

Priorities, Planning, Pacing

1 Samuel 14:6 says, “Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf.”

There is no certainty in our walk of faith. Just because we are doing the will of God to the best of our understanding does not guarantee we will have God’s instant help every time we think we need it. I like what Mark Batterson (Pastor – National Community Church, Washington, D.C.) wrote: “The will of God is not an insurance plan. It’s a daring plan.”

Walking by faith as we are told we must do as believers means not always being certain of the outcome. Not always understanding how we are going to do what God has just asked us to do for Him. It means accepting risk and not living with a sense of certainty. It means struggle and hard work.

We seem to live with the false idea that because we are following the will of God for our lives that things should be easy or, at least, easier than they are. Not true! As Paul the apostle learned by experience – and shared openly with all of us -his journey was not an easy one. His ministry was not without challenges, hardship, suffering, betrayal, and failures. Yet, I know many believers who simply give up walking with God and worshipping the Lord Jesus because things didn’t go their way, life became difficult, things took a downward turn and they ended up suffering (often as a result of their own actions – but they won’t admit that).

Here is what I have discovered. That being in the will of God for your life is no picnic. It requires hard work, perseverance, sometimes suffering, courage and a great deal of faith. I have learned that you might become tired, will always feel challenged, will many time need to cry out to God, won’t always understand and really don’t need to. If you know God’s will for your life – what He has called you to be and then do – and you are walking in obedience to His written Word and any prophetic words and inner guidance you have received – leave the rest up to Him. And, prepare for more challenges ahead.

Again, Mark Batterson, “I also think God will give us more difficult, dangerous, and daring things to do!” I agree, He will do just that when we faithfully walk in the light that we have and faithfully serve Him where He has placed us.

Day 4 walking through the forests and beside the mountain streams in beautiful Vermont. And, I am aware that the Lord is telling me that there are many more challenges ahead for me personally in my walk of faith (soon to enter it’s 35th year). And that there are many more doors opening for a continued expansion of my ministry and the ministry of the team of young apostles and prophets that I am training, equipping and mentoring in numerous nations overseas. I am also aware of my age and my decreasing strength and stamina and so I am believing that because this is what God has planned He is also planning to strengthen (physically and mentally) and equip me (spiritually) for all that He is calling me to. As well, I am aware – very aware – of the need to remove a number of things I now do and focus my activities and ministry more than ever before. Priorities, planning and pacing myself have become key words I hear the Lord speaking to me since I have been here taking some time away from the normal pace and setting of my life. I am challenged.

Jesus – Different and Radical

The Jesus we tend to see in Scriptures in a religious Jesus we have been taught to see. A plastic and safe Jesus that needs to be removed so that we can see the real Jesus as revealed in the New Testament accounts of His life and ministry and the Old Testament prophecies about His life.

Many in His three years of ministry did not understand Him and would not accept Him for who He really was. His family believed Him to be crazy and in need of locking up somewhere. The Pharisees believed He was demon possessed. The people wanted to enthrone Him as God or crucify Him depending on the day of the week and the mood of the crowd. His disciples were divided about who they thought He was and what they believed He had come to do and establish. Some read Him wrong and wanted to do things that were against everything He stood for – like call down fire from Heaven on those who would not receive Him (The Sons of Thunder).

But, let’s not be to hard on these Bible people… He was simply not always that easy to understand. And, He often did things that were simply not done in His day or would have been done a different way than the way He accomplished them. At times it seems He deliberately did things to tick people off and disturb them.

So, in an attempt to tame Jesus and make Him more acceptable the Church has preached a plastic, unreal, limp-wristed, effeminate Jesus. Have a look at the majority of pictures depicting the Lord and see what I mean. But this is not what He was like and this is not the real Jesus depicted in the Bible. You need to take your colored glasses off – one lens being religious and the other cultural. And see Jesus clearly for maybe the first time.

He is not your normal person … nor does He always behave within socially acceptable boundaries…

What “Good Shepherd” who was being responsible would risk the survival of 99 safe sheep He should be guarding to leave and go look for the one sheep that was lost?

What father would out-prodigal his own prodigal son by lavishly giving “all I have” to two kids in celebration of the one son’s return home?

What employer would pay last-minute workers the same wage as those who had worked hard the full day?

What bank would reward investors who risked their clients’ money in the futures market while chastizing those investors who played it safe, took no risks, but protected the money entrusted to them?

What guest would wait until the end of the party to surprise the hosts with 180 gallons of the finest wine they would ever taste?

What teacher would save the day by feeding five thousand listeners, only to make twelve extra full baskets?

What aesthetics would make Jesus’ greatest repulsion his greatest attraction?

The Church – and maybe even you – have tamed Jesus so that He is more acceptable and we are more comfortable with Him. We have not allowed the true Jesus to be known – by us or by others. We do not preach a ‘real Jesus’ as revealed in the pages of God’s Word – but rather preach a safe and domestic Jesus that allows us to maintain the status quo.

Time to change and let the radical revolutionary known as Jesus of Nazareth reveal Himself to us. The true Jesus and not the counterfeit one we have accepted until now. The world awaits and would receive the real deal!

I Am In Another Airport

Almost safely home. As I write this update regarding my apostolic trip to Russia I have been on the road and in the air for 36 hours. Two more hours to wait and then I board the last flight home arriving at 9:00a body time but 11:00p local time. Do I sense jet lag coming on?

Thank you for your prayers and support both during the lead up to this recent trip and during the time I was in Russia ministering. Your support is always a blessings and never taken for granted. Your prayers were answered. It was a seriously dynamic trip. God was both gracious to us and powerfully manifesting Himself in all of our events. I have never experienced the depth of prophetic words that I was receiving during every event and the anointing to minister healing, break generational curses, heal men’s hearts of wounds caused by their fathers, and speak powerfully and apostolically (thus prophetically) into the lives of leaders in 7 cities in 12 days. The grace was tangible and the power was very evident.

As always there were a number of events simply tossed at us without warning. One was Sunday after three and a half hours of ministering in a regular Sunday service. We were scheduled to be packing getting ready for a late evening trip into Moscow to beat the traffic that starts around 3:00a so I could make my noon flight. Instead, a bishop and four others from Moscow appeared half way through the service and wanted to meet me (another way to say “receive a prophecy”) after the service. I did meet with them but limited my prophetic ministry to just the bishop of this union centered in Moscow. Even then, unprepared and tired, God honored the time together and really ministered powerfully to this bishop – his past, present and future. Dynamic and deep would be the way I would describe the ministry to him.

In every city we met with and taught leaders of the local church hosting us. In three places we also ministered at public services (a Wednesday and two different Sundays). All were well received and God ministered wonderfully and no one left the meetings disappointed or untouched. The people and the leaders were hungry for whatever God had for them and they were looking for direction and understanding of God’s current move in the world and the Church today. In each place I taught about the Apostolic Model of the Church of 2020 and the prophetic ministry and the “gift mix” seen in the New Testament – both topics requested by the lead pastors. And, as we minister to leaders we minister to and changed complete churches.

Feedback was immediate. The prophetic confirmed what many had already heard personally for their lives. Many were set free of bondages and limitations and stood the next day and declared the goodness of God and the accuracy of the words spoken. Young men stood at public services in their local churches and gave testimonies of what God had done in the 24 hours since they received their word. People came up to us whom I had ministered to last year while visiting Russia and testified of what has happened since they received their prophetic words. Healings, new opportunities, physical moves, new jobs, church plants… Exciting!

Before I left for this trip a local church prayed for and prophesied over me stating that things would be different, I would be different and permanently changed, that God’s power would be very evident and the major changes would be happening in my ministry under God’s anointing of the Holy Spirit and power. That I would be even physically changed. I am going to see if the full words were recorded and if so I will publish them as a blog shortly. However, to the best of my recollection, everything took place as prophesied and I have returned seriously different. I can feel it physically, spiritually, mentally and relationally. Thanks for releasing God’s creative word into my life folks. A real blessing.

We have been invited back – out of these two major invited (2 different unions) we are now planning a trip back (our third) to one union to train them in one location for a whole week and then minister in a local church connected to the network (known as unions). Then, in the city of Ivanovo (our last stop this trip and our first time there) we will run a city wide rally in a location that sits 450 people and I will come in under a religious visitor visa and so they will be able to advertise. Again, a week long event followed by a weekend in a local church. More doors are opening.
My flight boards in 90 minutes… My baggage is still in New York – will reappear this week we hope.

Jesus Never Met a Christian

Jesus never met a Christian. No one could become born again until after His death and resurrection. Even then, after His resurrection and ascension into Heaven, the followers of Jesus were not known as Christians. They were followers of The Way or simply disciples of Jesus. Jesus never met a Christian during His time here on earth.

I wonder what He would say if He met one today? Would Jesus be a Christian today? Ah! Questions a heretic asks? No, not at all. They are honest questions that we need to be asking. Why? Because I believe we have the wrong image of who Jesus was and is – and thus the wrong concept of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We have made things much too “ordinary” and thus commonized this thing called the Christian faith and made it into a religion.

In the prophet Ezekiel God pronounced a judgment against His people through the ministry of this powerful prophet. This judgment was because they had “profaned my holy things.” (Ezekiel 22:26). The Hebrew word “profane” means to “make ordinary” or “normalize.” Today we have normalized Jesus. We have watered Him down to an acceptable, historical figure – and made a God in our own image so that we are comfortable in our complancy. We are guilty but don’t feel any guilt.

The word “profane” in the Hebrew also means “wound.” By making Jesus normal we “wound” God’s name and power. In fact, I believe that there is nothing normal or ordinary about Jesus. He is God born as a man. He is not normal – He is radical. He is not just natural man – He is supernatural God. He is not ordinary – He is extraordinary. Majestic, wonderful, awesome.

I believe that when we are born again we leave normal and ordinary and through becoming a new creature in Christ we become supernatural and absolutely no longer ordinary or normal. To be normal means to be like everyone else. That is not good! That is like being neither hot (passionate for Jesus) or cold (a committed atheist) but you are lukewarm. (Revelation 3:16) Jesus goes on to reveal that if we are lukewarm – normal, ordinary – we make God sick. It makes Him puke. And, as a result He will “vomit” (some versions politely state “spit” but ‘vomt’ is a more accurate translation) those who are normal or ordinary out of His mouth. God is saying – ordinary or normal “makes me sick.”

You see Jesus came so we no longer had to be normal or ordinary – that we could be totally transformed and become like Him. Transformation of the heart leading to major changes in our lives. End result: anything but normal or ordinary.

So my questions still need answering…
I wonder what He would say if He met one today?
Would Jesus be a Christian today?

Up, Up, and Away

Throughout the past two weeks of ministering in the nation of Russia (7 different cities – many different groups) we have been doing more than preaching, teaching and ministering propheticlly. Along with counselling some leaders and fellowshipping with others we have been training the leaders and the people to minister prophetically. This is what apostles do – they “equip the saints for the work of the ministry.” I enjoy ministering because the Lord has called me to do this – but I really enjoy teaching others how to do what I do so they can begin to fulfill the call upon their lives – “to go into all the world and seek and save the lost.” And being able to speak a prophetic word over someone is a great supernatural way to begin a conversation and release the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sins and become born again. And this is what we have been teaching them to do.

Today – not near as exciting or dynamic. I leave the City of Ivanovo at 6:00a by car to Moscow (250 Km). Moscow can and does have regular traffic jams at 4:00a – I know because I was in one. So, you leave really early so that you actually make the airport on time to check in 2 hours before your international flight. During our wait for my flight to New York Mroslav and I will debrief, chat, make further plans for our November trip to Kazakhstan, and simply share fellowship and deepen our relationship / friendship. He is heading home later by train (2 days of travel as well).

My flight flys direct Moscow to New York. That is 10.5 hours in the air and you add an hour or more of taxi time as we get in line to take off and land. I will arrive in New York 2 hours and 35 minutes after I leave Moscow due to there being 8 time zones we will fly through. I literally live the same 8 hours twice. In New York – a really short wait … just enough time to find the next gate I hope – 1 hour and 20 minutes. God is good! Then a 3 hour and 30 minute flight to Minneapolis with a one hour time difference so living the same hour twice. My body will now be confused wondering if it breakfast or supper I am eating and whether it should be trying to sleep or just waking up. I will be tired of travelling and just want to get home and have a shower.

In Minneapolis I have a 3 hour wait – but I do know of a restaurant in the airport with a Celiac menu so that I can eat a full and safe meal – and a small snack shop with home made Celiac brownies that are to kill for … so a good book and some decent food and I will make it. Of course, by now Diet Pepsi is available everywhere (so different than Russia). Flight from Minneapolis to Regina is 2 hours and there is a one hour time difference. So, I arrive in Regina at 10:45p on the same day I flew out of Moscow. Body time it will actually be (for me) 7:45a on Tuesday morning. Jet lag day on Tuesday.

It will be good to be home!

Please pray that all flights are on time and that the connection in New York will be made (it is a rather short time between arrival and departure so nothing can go wrong). Thanks.

All Good Things Must End But…


This couple have been our hosts for the last three days here in the City of Ivanovo and have been very gracious to us during our stay. They are a blessing to the Kingdom and to the King. And, they are truly servant leaders wanting to fulfill God’s plans and purposes for their lives and ministry.

Today is our last day of ministry here and in the nation for this trip. All good things must end but really they don’t. The trip may be coming to an end but the results of the ministry and the seeds we have planted will continue to bear a harvest. And, the hundreds of prophetic words that have been spoken and released will continue to move forward to completion and fulfillment. And, because we have been teaching on evangelism – admittedly only some basics due to time frames – we hope to see further fruit as a result of this trip. Thus, it really does not come to an end.

In another sense it does not end – as we have plans to be back in Russia (two locations) in mid-January when we will once again be working among these wonderful believers speaking and teaching God’s Word and ministering prophetically. News of that upcoming apostolic trip to Moscow and the City of Khabarovsk can be found on our main web page at www.ralphhoweministries.com along with trips to Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

By the end of these apostolic trips we are exhaused physically and spiritually. Relationally we are rich as we have spend much time outside of meetings and services talking and fellowshipping with Russian believers. Two things are in short supply – quiet time (including some solitude) and privacy as you live with others and share facilities and are really never alone. Of course, it will still be a number of days before either is accomplished. Tomorrow I will be in a confined space called an airplane with 300+ other passengers. In fact, I will be on three different airplanes. As well, I will be wandering around and waiting in different airports for hours among thousands of other people doing the same thing. Forgive me if I don’t witness or even talk as I really only want to be quiet and alone.

We leave reluctantly but it has been evident that team members have been growing weary and that, as we get closer and closer to leaving, we are finding ourselves really missing our loved ones and our homes. At the start of the trips you miss them and think of them, of course. But in the last two or three days your whole being is telling you it is time to go home and be with your loved ones and back where you belong and have been planted by the Lord. I will be glad to be home.

Please continue to pray for us as we still have 36 hours in front of us – and we are seriously weary.

The Spirits We Are Wrestling Against

Here is what we are up against spiritually – the spirit of religion and the spirit of tradition. These gold-topped shrines – temples – churches (depending on who you talk with) are the centers for the Orthodox religion in this nation and they are found in small villages, towns and cities. The spirit of control is so powerful in these building that sometimes you literally have to leave the buildings or physically vomit. And, at times, I have felt their oppresion and influence for many kilometers as you drive or walk away from them. Just as you get free of the grip of one you feel it rising again in front of you and so you look around and, sure enough, you will see another gold dome on the horizon and more control and oppression by a spirit of religion and a spirit of tradition working together to keep people in bondage – often severe bondage.

As well, this close to Moscow there is a definite work of the homosexual spirit coupled with or working with the spirits of lust and perversion. These two together have a strong influence in this whole region stretching from the City of Moscow to the City of Ivanovo and the corridor between the two. Young men are very attracted to each other and although it is not as open as in North America it is still fairly evident – especially in the evenings if you are in the center of the cities and near any of the bars. And most certainly a spiritual force to be reckoned with and considered as we apprach teaching on prophetic evangelism and reaching people on the streets, in the bars and in the restaurants.

I have not felt this level of sexual oppression since my time last summer in the Crimea working with the youth at a ten day camp. The beaches were smoothered in men and women wearing the tinest thongs and many would walk through the town to their rented apartments and hotel rooms dressed in their beach “attire.” Then, as we discovered on a half day hike into the mountains, there were a number of nude beaches close by which we embarrassingly had to walk through to get back to our camp facilities. This is as bad – just too cold for the lack of clothes we witnessed last summer – but it is the same oppression and sexual lust at work.

So, we have our work cut out for us – as do those who live here and confess the Name of Jesus. It is good that we are here to help them to understand the evangelist call upon their lives and the power aspect of their reaching out as they move prophetically and apostolically and speak directly to the hearts of the people and the issues they are struggling with and live among. These two people groups – those in religious bondage but don’t even know they are and those who are bound sexually and think this attraction is normal – are two of the tougest goups to get through to. Much prayer is needed to bind the devil who is seriously blinding their minds so that they do not see or undertand the light of the glorious glospel. Hopefully our limited time here will help in some way.

Please pray with us – and for us. With us for these people and against these controlling rulers in this district. And for us as we minister within our limited boundaries and opportunities as well as our limited time in this area of the nation. We will need strength and wisdom – both in short demand near the end of these two week apostolic trips. Thanks for standing with us.

The Apostolic Church Model

Day 11 of this apostolic trip into Russia to minister the Gospel of Salvation and the power of God. Pictured is Sasha – his wife and young daughter. He is a pastor of a small church in a predominately Muslim area of Russia who received a prophetic work from our team two years ago in Ukraine at a week long conference. It was good to reconnect with him again on this trip.

Today we are in the city of Ivanovo – day one of three with a different Network of churches. I had the honor of ministering to the couple who now head up this Network when they were simply pastoring one of the churches. They attended a School this ministry ran in Moscow a year or so ago … and were blessed and seriously touched and ministered to by the prophetic. So, they have since been negotiating with us to come to their part of this rather large nation and minister to their Network (Union) leaders. So, today we begin.

When you first enter an area or district and a city – it is imperative that you immediately adjust to the different spiritual atmosphere you find there. Each city or location has a different “spiritual feel” to it and it is up to us, as apostles, to determine if we are working against a spiritual stronghold, traditional spirits, religious spirits, a principality or power. And, once discerned, we need then to seek the Lord and see what He would have us do about it. Often we simply need to adjust our spiritual antenna so that we can accurately hear the Lord and simply ignore the opposition. Other times we have to take authority over the pricipality or power ruling the spiritual airwaves during our first public service to free the services and ministry time to allow a flow of the Holy Spirit and no interference. This is not a big deal – and in many places we go it is almost automatic. But, occasionally we come up against a strong ruling spirit and it takes a service or two to break through to spiritual freedom. This feels like such a place. We will know after the first service.

Here we are ministering on what an apostolic model of the Church will look like. I have touched on this topic several times over the past year – in Kazakhstan and Ukraine – and as of today here in Russia. It is all raw material but the content of the teachings grows as I do research into the topic for a book I am writing and planning to publish as a free ebook on our web site. In fact, I will be publishing each chapter on line as they are written and asking for those who frequent the web site to download, read and comment on each chapter thus making the ebook a combined effort of many. We hope to answer the questions raised and include ideas and approaches shared by our readers in the final draft of the book.

All this started a few years ago with a few scribbles on the back of coffee shop and restaurant napkins and place mats. It has grown over the last few years and now I simply need adequate time to continue the research and reading I need to be doing and then time to pull all my thoughts and ideas together into various chapters as the book becomes a reality.

However, here in this setting with three days on the topic along with prophetic ministry at every service I will be stretching the organized part of the material and will certainly need to go past what is already outlined into some rougher material. If the 50+ who are in attendance don’t mind we will run the last few sessions more as sharing and asking of questions rather than lectures. I would like to have them interact with the material as I present it. The Lord will lead and it will honor Him and it will turn out as He wants it. And, those in attendance will be blessed and given much to think about and chew over in the coming months. I will simply need to be more flexible and open and certainly listening for the voice of Spirit each step of the way.

These are exicitng time to be alive and ministering as the Kingdom advances and the Church begins to come into maturity and takes it rightful place as a world-changer and an influence for good in each and every people group and culture. Only as the church itself becomes more and more apostolic and prophetic will it be able to do what the Lord has called it do and mandated it to accomplish. It is from raw (not polished) teachings such as we will be doing in the next three days that seeds are planted and divine disatisfaction with what is arises within God’s people so they will desire change and advancement into God’s perfect will.

So for the next three days we continue to plant seeds regarding the birthing of an apostolic church in the world – and the dawning of the second apostolic Church age. And, as we have done in Kazakhstan and Ukraine – we trust the Lord to water the seeds and allow a great harvest of Kingdom-minded apostolic leaders and people who are truly willing to “go into all the world and make disciples of all nations…”