Short Night – Long Day – Kazakhstan #3

It is Saturday around 10:00p here in Kazakhstan and it has been a long day but a good day. I arrived at 1:00a this morning from the airport in Almaty to this location outside the city in a fenced in and gated former conference centre now being operated by some wonderful people from Korea. I stayed here last time I was in Kazakhstan. When I arrived everyone was in bed and so I was dropped off and left to myself. This was good as it was the first time I was alone in many, many hours. I sat and read my Bible, prayed, and then went outside to the far side of the compound and sat for a while in the hot pool which is really a warm pool.

The water here is pumped in from underground springs and is warm but never hot. We bath in this water, it heats the buildings and it fills the pools – the swimming pool which they allow to go to air temperature and the smaller pool which is kept at the temperature of the springs that feed it. So, not hot but definitely relaxing after 27 hours in transit… and quiet as at 3:00a local time no one else was up. Several hours sleep and then back to the airport to greet Miroslav as he arrived at 6:30a from Ukraine.

He is the other leader of the team we have assembled for this time of ministry. Often Miroslav travels as my interrupter but here we have another young man, Timur, who is an excellent interpreter and so Miroslav is here as an apostle (in training) to continue to grow in his giftings. He will be teaching daily as well as ministering prophetically and leading one of the teams we have formed. It is good to have him with us. It is important that team members be at the airport to greet each other and welcome them after what is always a long flight or flights from somewhere.

By noon we were attending a “Unity Day of Kazakhstan Nations” celebration that we were invited to attend. It was neat to see the many ethnic groups that actually live here and make Kazakhstan what it is today. Then at 3:00p we were in a leaders meeting in a church in a small town of Burundai working with a leadership team of 15 men and women – all young – and helping them to sort through many issues they were facing. This was followed by a late supper and then a second meeting with the same group followed by a time of fellowship with the key leaders.

A late night but a good day – and tomorrow will be another full day. We are off to a good start.

Welcome to Hell in the Church

There is much out there in the pulpits of our land that is not the truth and is thus bringing people into bondage and not setting them free. For a list of many of the things that are being preached and are contrary to the Scriptures go to and go to the resources section and look for “Eleven Words for 2011” and go to page 4 – Doctrines of Concern.

Recently there has been a major controversy over Rob Bell (author of “Velvet Elvis”) and his current book on love that pushes the heresy called Universalism – everyone goes to Heaven when they die, no one goes to Hell. Not new but just as dangerous as it has always been. I remember a bishop I once worked under who believed this and caused many to fall into error.

There is another new storm cloud on the horizon – does not have a name yet as far as I know but dangerous none-the-less. Not an official anything but there are churches – belonging to apostolic networks – teaching this non-truth that brings people into bondage. Ready – here it is. “The Holy Spirit trumps Scripture.”

In other words, if you believe that the Holy Spirit has revealed something to you and so it is a “the Lord would say…” and yet it does not line up with the revealed will of God as see in the pages of the Bible this is quite alright because what the Holy Spirit is saying today trumps Scripture or overrides the authority of the Word of God, the Bible.

Welcome to Hell – hell in the Church. As soon as people’s subjective experiences become the main authority for what we believe and what we allow or disallow – we have left the ranks of sanity and entered into a living hell. We have again entered a time such as found in the book of Judges where “every man did what was right in his own eyes.” Or as many in our current world believe: “If it feels good, do it.” We have removed the foundation – the rock – upon which the Church and individual lives are to be built – the authority of the Word of God. We have entered the realm of many traditional churches where tradition and church authorities trump the authority of Scriptures.

When Scripture no longer has the authority in the Church – when something objective is replaced by something subjective – then we can no longer declare the Word as truth and as the revelation upon which to build life. We can no longer say “this is the way” because it might not be – depending on your revelation. The certainty of the basic doctrines of the faith is removed and we can chose any way we want … and base our lives on anything that we think the spirit may have revealed to us personally. That will certainly be hell and will take many to Hell after they die.

Jude 3 tells us that we must earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints … Jesus and many of the New Testament writers warned us that in the last days many will be deceived and fall away. They were right.

Kazakhstan Is a Great Nation – Kazakhstan #2

I am in flight to the nation of Kazakhstan. I have been a number of times to this great nation of few people and I am looking forward to my two weeks among these wonderful people. As you read this I will be in the air flying from Frankfurt, Germany to Almaty, Kazakhstan and will arrive at midnight Saturday local time (noon on Saturday local time in central Canada) as Kazakhstan is 12 hours ahead of western Canada.

Kazakhstan, or officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a country situated in Central Asia and, according to the Council of Europe, Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world as well as the world’s largest landlocked country, it has a territory of 2,727,300 km? (greater than Western Europe). It is bordered by Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and China. The country also borders on a significant part of the Caspian Sea.

Vast in size, the land in Kazakhstan is very diverse in types of terrain: flatlands, steppes, taigas, rock-canyons, hills, deltas, mountains, snow-capped mountains and deserts. Kazakhstan has the 62nd largest population in the world, with a population density of less than 6 people per square kilometre (15 per sq. mi.).

This trip we are planning a day of sightseeing. So, I hope to see parts of the rural areas that I have not been to before. More on this when it happens. The picture is of a tower in the city of Almaty where I am ministering.

For your prayers: The first set of meetings in the town of Burundai with both a local church (return visit) but especially with a local rehab center filled with men being set free by the Holy Spirit from drugs and alcohol. A lot of our work this time will be with rehab centers and those being set free. This is a new rehab center for this ministry and our first time ministering to those involved in the recovery program.

The Republic of Kazakhstan attaches fairly great importance to the development of present-day infrastructure including tourism.
Accordingly, there have been signed Agreements on co-operation in the field of tourism with Turkey, Iran, Xinjang Uigur Autonomous Area of China, Moldova, Hungary, the State of Israel, Kyrghyzstan and Egypt. The body that accomplishes state management in the field of tourism in the Republic of Kazakhstan is the Committee for Regulation of Trade and Tourist Activity of the Ministry for Industry and Trade of Kazakhstan. Administration is carried out through certain departments of the executive bodies of power, state-owned tourism representations in other countries.

Spreading the Gospel – An Imperative, Not An Activity

Everywhere I go I speak on the need to incorporate evangelism into the way we live as believers.

First, we need to understand it is not an option – it is a command to every believer. I am amazed at how many Christians have made a conscious decision to not evangelize and tell others of the faith. Every believer is called to tell others about their faith in the Lord and the need to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Secondly, I comment that this is not a program or an event – that it is simply the way we live – a lifestyle. We don’t add evangelism on to an already busy life; another activity we need to be involved in. We incorporate evangelism and winning the lost into what we are already doing as we go about our daily life. If we are going to the football game – buy a second ticket and invite a non-believer to go with you. Thirdly, we will be held accountable for what we have or have not done when we stand before the Lord on Judgement Day. Fourth, we need to be evangelizing supernaturally – using the gifts of the Holy Spirit to win the lost.

In spite of teaching this in various ways and every opportunity I have few are rising to the worldwide challenge of winning the lost. Why? Good question and one I believe we need to answer for ourselves – in the stillness of our own hearts. Maybe we just can’t be bothered – a love problem. Maybe, we are not sure we know how to – an information problem. Maybe we just can’t be bothered – a rebellion problem. Maybe…

I have been thinking about this a lot. Let me give you what I hope are some valid insights.

First, you have to believe the Gospel. If a church isn’t about Gospel saturation, it won’t be about Gospel proclamation.

Second, you have to establish your identity – that’s a big one. Most churches don’t believe we are all on mission. Churches need to re-establish that we are all apostolic people (sent out ones) of God – spreading the Gospel is an imperative, not an activity.

Third, we need to learn to take ordinary things and just do them differently. Invite a non-believer to be involved with you in your “activity.”

Fourth – too much of church is about putting on a lot of extra activities, but that just pulls people away from everyday mission. So, we need to cut back on all the meetings and activities we do in the church that away what little time we actually have, focusing that time on internal matters instead of on the lost.

And if you are a leader of the church, you have to lead by example and be on mission too, engaging in the everyday lives of others who don’t know Jesus. Set a daily example.
These things will turn the ship around so that the Church will begin to be going in the right direction and will begin to see the lost saved on a regular basis. The change will take time and is a somewhat slow process because it is really a basic life change we are asking people to make and a complete change in the DNA of most churches.

It is a Travel Day to Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan #1

It is a travel day … Regina to Calgary to Frankfurt, Germany to Almaty, Kazakhstan. I will leave early afternoon today and arrive at midnight on Friday night. Into where I am staying by 1:30a after customs, a drive into town, and getting relocated. It will be a short night as I will be back at the airport at 6:00a to meet a team member. It is good for team members who have already arrived to meet and greet others who are still making their way to the ministry.

I am excited that in the next few days I will be seeing a lot of men and women I have ministered to before during my previous trips here. One group I am really excited to hear are coming is a good sized contingent from the city of Karaganda which is located in the northern part of the nation. We ministered in that city on our first trip two years ago. It will be good to see them again and I am so pleased they are taking the 12 hour train ride down to the south of their nation to be with everyone at the leadership school next week.

Long plane rides (21 hours) and waiting times at airports (12 hours) allows for a great deal of reading and writing. Most overseas flights now have plug-ins for computers on the seat backs and so laptops can be working the whole time on the overseas portion of the flight. And, with newer laptops such as mine there is an 8 hour battery life so even without the plugs it still works for another flight. Then, there is the e-book reader and the ability to read without carrying a lot of bulky books and added weight. So, a mobile office for long trips – working while others watch movie after movie after movie.

Your prayers would be appreciated for the events that will be taking place over the next 14 days of ministry. As well, pray for safe travel for the various team members coming in from various nations to be with us. They are tremendous men and women of God coming to continue their hands-on training as well as to simply serve and minister to those attending the various events. As my own preparation is never finished until the actual event is in front of me – please pray as well for God’s guidance and direction as I continue to organize and prepare material for the various events we will be holding. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

What Is Your Vocation?

What you do for a living is suppose to be a ministry for the Lord. What you do day-in and day-out at work is what the Church calls a vocation. It is the call of God on your life being lived out in your everyday world – where you work and where you live.

The word “vocation” is not used often in non-Catholic circles. However, it is a powerful word that comes from the same root as “voice” and so denotes the hearing of the divine call on our lives. Listen carefully: beyond knowing that God has a purpose for our lives, most of us spend little energy seeking our vocation, especially in light of how the needs and sufferings of others might inform how we use our gifts for divine purposes.

Shane Claiborne writes, “There are plenty of people who are miserable in their jobs, for they have not listened to God’s call. And I would add there are many Christians who are not fulfilled in their spiritual lives because they have no sense of their gifts or purpose … (this) leads to emptiness and burnout.” (Page 138 – The Irresistible Revolution).

I was sitting with some young people the other day – there are three young men I meet with weekly on a one-to-one basis whenever I am in the city. And, the conversation turned, as it often does, to what they want to do with life and decisions that need to be made regarding their future – schooling, job changes, life partners. Without knowing it these three young men are actually looking for their “vocation” or the voice of God in their life and a word or a sense of direction regarding their future. They hear the voice of others – friends, family, father, and other familiar voices – but they absolutely need to get on their knees and hear the voice of their Heavenly Father and discover His purpose and His plan for their lives.

This was also very evident while in Ohio a week ago and spending a full day with a young man I am discipling and mentoring. As we drove around looking at the countryside and enjoying a sunny day – as well as viewing the devastation of a tornado that ripped through his town the night before – we spoke of many things during our five hours together. However, looking back all of them dealt with this idea of “vocation” or knowing the voice of God in life so as to become all that you were designed to be and being the best you that you can be. Then, add to that, the call on each life to do a certain thing for the Lord. Vocation!

The problem with many today is that they literally think more of “vacation” then they do their “vocation” and thus live for their day off, long-weekends, and annual weeks away to relax and unwind. Yet, in spite of having so much they are still unfulfilled and seeking more and more to fill the inner emptiness and the void that exists for meaning and purpose, and for self-discovery.

These essential foundational qualities of life can only be found in stillness and silence as we seek God and His vocation or calling on our lives. And, it is unique and different for every one of us – because it arises out of who we are and each and every one of us is unique and different from all others. It is time for believers to take time to discover who they really are “in Christ” and whom God has made them to be so that they can then discover what He is calling them to do with their gifts and abilities.
The world and the Kingdom of God will be changed by those who focus on their vocation and not their vacation or time off work. It is a season when God is calling believers to be who He created them to be and to become world-changers.

Young Men Being Mentored – Kazakhstan #2

The picture is of the city of Almaty taken from one of the many mountains that totally surround the city. I will be flying in to this city late Friday evening, clearing customs and then by 1:00a on Saturday arriving where I will be staying for the two weeks of ministry in this great country. (this after three flights, four airports, and 36 hours in transit). My administrator arrives at 6:00a on the Saturday so it will be a short night as I will, of course, head to the airport to greet him – he is a team member and it is important that I am there to meet him and welcome him as he comes to work on the team.

During our time here Miroslav, my administrator, will be teaching and ministering prophetically with me. The leaders here have hired an interpreter (Timur) and so Miroslav will not need to be interprepting for me. This allows us freedom to develop his calling as an apostle and for some terrific mentoring to happen as he ministers beside me the whole time.

While here I will be meeting with a young man called Pavel (Paul) who is a university student and a member of our team. We have scheduled three to four hours to meet with him and move him forward in some areas that I have been talking to him about via Skype on a weekly basis. As well, another morning will be spent with a young man called Michael who is planning to plant a new church in this city of 2 million. He too has been in regular touch with our ministry over the past several years.

For prayer requests today: for Pavel, Michael, and Miroslav as well as other team members who will be joining with us to minister over the next few weeks. For my leadership – that God would give me wisdom and insight to minister to their hearts and that they would grow immensely during this time we share together. Of course, all of this mentoring is in addition to the regular daily services, meetings, and ministry times so we ask that you pray for rest, strength, and protection.

And the Wind Blew and Shook the House

A week ago I returned from my 4th Apostolic Rountable held in Elkhart, Indiana. As I mentioned yesterday, it was a powerful five days for me – for my life and ministry – and much was accomplished for those present but also for the Kingdom and for our understanding of the ministry of apostles in the Kingdom.

While in Celina, Ohio my last night (Tuesday) I met with two young men (Kyle and Aaron – brothers and university students) and shared a great evening with them and their grandparents in whose home I was staying. I am discipling Kyle with daily contact via text messenging and through Skype and was simply getting to know Aaron and seeing where the relationship might go. A powerful night when the Spirit of God blew mightily and a fresh wind of the Spirit was experienced.

Since our meeting that night I have made further contact with Aaron and he has agreed to be in touch with me regularly. So, a late night (early morning) to bed after four powerful days when the Spirit of the Lord blew in fresh and new ways, powerful ways.

Just in bed after such a powerful night and a storm came up in the distance. Shortly the rain and wind were growing in intensity. Over my head was an open window and when the blinds on the window began blowing and were at 90 degree angles to the window I knew this was more than a regular storm by a lake. It was a tornado. A great and mighty rushing wind came blowing into the place where I was staying and it instantly reminded me of Acts, capter two and the day of Pentecost and Acts, chapter 4 where the house shook after prayer… this house was also violently shaking.

After quickly getting dressed and running to the basement with the others the storm ripped through. It did not damage the house I was in but it certainly shook it a lot. However, the F1 tornado did touch down in the small town of Celina where I was. The next day, after a night of more storms, wind and rain, I was meeting with Kyle for the whole day before returning to Dayton and flying home and we drove and viewed some of the damage. It was a very powerful and destructive storm with great damage done by the wind. Pictured above – one of the many commercial buildings totally destroyed by the force of the wind. Of course, many homes were also severely damaged. Not my first tornado – but a definite lesson in how uncertain life is and how quickly things effecting life can change without notice or warning.

I had just had a very powerful time at the roundtable where the wind of God blew through and changed my life and ministry – my understanding and approach to apostolic ministry, the way my ministry is to function from this time onwards, what God is calling me to accomplish here and overseas, as well as where and how my ministry fits into the wider picture of what the Lord is doing in His Kingdom. A powerful, spiritual wind had blown through and shook the building (my life and ministry) – to the very foundations.

Then, a physical wind came and shook the building where I was staying (again, without damage) and yet damaged so many other buildings. I was reminded that much in the world and the present-day church will be seriously destroyed by the wind of the Spirit as it moves through – often coming without notice. There is fresh wind of the Spirit moving in the Kingdom and it will shake much that now is and totally destroy all that man has built. Like a mighty rushing wind it will shake each believer, every church, and all non-believers to the very foundations of their lives and people will either experience tremendous spiritual insight and change (as I did at the roundtable) or terrific destuction of what is held so close and dear and yet of no eternal significance (as those in the path of the tornado experienced).

The Bible states:
“So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words … one last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern. The phrase ‘one last shaking’ means a through housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable esentials stand clear and uncluttered.” (Hebrews 12:25-27 The Message Version).

A Great God and a Great Nation – Kazakhstan #1

In two days time I leave for the nation of Kazakhstan to minister apostolically for two weeks. This will be my third trip to this great nation – one of 15 from the former Soviet Union. God has graciously opened doors in this nation for this ministry and many foundational truths have been laid over the last two years. This trip will, of course, build upon those truths and that foundation.

I will be returning to several churches I have worked in before as well as several new ones – led by pastors I have ministered to before in conferences and schools that we have been involved in. I will be doing a leaders / pastors conference (3 days) as well as training a new group of pastors in a city I have never been to before. I will also be ministering for 4 days to all the men who are part of an alcohol and drug rehab center. I have ministered to the leader several times before and on my last trip ministered prophetically to a number of the men in the program.

This is an important trip as we establish the foundations for massive change in this nation. God is truly moving in wonderful and powerful ways and we have a small part to play in the development of this powerful, young, militant and radical church that the Lord is raising up.

Your prayers would be greatly appreciated in this pre-trip stage as I pull the remainer of my resources together and do all that is needed to be ready for my flights into Kazakhstan on Thursday and Friday. Please pray as well for all the various locations and people / leaders we will be ministering to in schools, conferences, and local church services. Your prayers are greatly appreciated and are making a difference.

The Apostolic Roundtable – Powerful

The Bible speaks of apostles – more than just the 12 apostles of the Lord – the original group. In fact, over 20 others are named in the New Testament as apostles. Of course, this is the ministry and governmental funtion that the Lord is currently adding back into His true Church so there are still others ministering prophetically since the closure of the canon of Scripture.

In the Bible there is mention of the last days and the apostles of that time. Really, what is set out is no different than what was actually happening in the early Church. Paul mentions apostles – true apostles, false apostles and super apostles (2 Corinthians 11:5, 13; and 2 Corinthians 12:11-12). There are many today who call themselves apostles but who are self-appointed and are certainly in the category of false apostles working with the anti-christ spirit (another spirit as Paul mentions in 11:4). There are many who actually believe they can be apostles over thousands of churches or who believe that their revelations are truth and even trump the biblical truth as recorded in Scripture and so teach contrary to the revealed will of God – super apostles. And, there are some actual true or real apostles appointed by the Lord and given by Him as a gift to the Church. Exciting times to be alive and a time when great discernment is needed.

I have just returned last Wednesday from my 4th apostolic roundtable in the United States. Thanks everyone for praying for me during my time there. The five days were seriously amazing. Meetings with various leaders before, two and a half powerful days of discussion and prophetic ministry all of which was life-changing, and then a day with a young man I am mentoring which was mutually beneficial and very powerful as well. I will be posting a report of the apostolic roundtable sometime in the next few weeks on my main web page.

These apostolic roundtable meetings twice a year are part of a larger number of meetings that go on regularly throughout the year. These two meeting (April and Ocotber) are expanded to include younger apostles and some who are not part of the network of churches hosting and running these discussions (such as myself). Inbetween these two meetings there are meetings of the senior leaders – 5 apostles – and of the governing or steering group for these ministries.

In October of this year – instead of having another expanded roundtable discussion such as the one that has just ended – the leadership has decided to hold a roundtable with only senior leaders and by invitation only. I have been invited to be a part of this meeting as well as to go early and minister in one of the network churches in the town of Butler, Ohio. As well, I will be visiting in Celina and in the town of Ada where there are a number of young apostles and prophets attending university.

God is certainly opening doors for us to have increasing influence just as was prophesied two years ago this August.