Just About There

Thanks for praying while I am traveling. I have gone from Regina to Minneapolis, MN in the U.S.A. and after a 6 hours wait flew from there to Paris, France. In the airport in Paris I had a 5 hour wait and have since boarded a flight for Moscow (just 30 minutes ago). When I arrive in Moscow I will meet my interpreter and board yet another flight to Yekaterinburg, Russia where I begin ministry as soon as I arrive as it will be early evening when we get there. I believe there is a 15 hour time difference between home and there…

I am looking forward to finally being where the ministry begins. Although, I have to admit, I have had numerous opportunities to share my faith in Jesus with people both on planes and in airports over the last two days … people from many different nationalities and religious backgrounds. It has been fun.

These next 14 days of ministry are something that, for me, has been greatly anticipated. All three cities are new to me. The area of Russia is also new to me. The last two cities are in Siberia and I have been fascinated with that area of this nation for many years. In fact, as is usual when entering a new area, I read up on the history and culture of the people. And have done so this time as well. There is a great book that covers this area and a lot more of Russia – Jonathan Dimbleby’s “Russia – A Journey to the Heart of a Land and its People.” A great read this past summer, published by the BBC in England.

I appreciate your interest in my current trip and covet your prayers while I am here ministering and especially for all the traveling we will be doing within this trip. We will spend close to 48 hours on the Trans-Siberian Railway system while moving between cities … prayer required!

Being Schizophrenic

I love what Lily Tomlin said in a play called “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe”…”Why is it that when we speak to God we are said to be praying, but when God speaks to us we are said to be schizophrenic?” A classic Lily Tomlin line and tremendously true.

Now before you get mad at me for using that line from the play, for the picture accompanying this blog, or anything else having to do with the term ‘schizophrenic’ – I am very sensitive towards people with this disease and have actually had a friend many years ago who was diagnosed with this disease. I don’t treat the subject lightly and I am both caring and concerned for people with this mental disorder. Now, back to the topic of the blog…

I have found during the last 35 years that I have moved in the gift of prophesy that people are really skeptical because you think you can hear God. It is like they think you are schizophrenic and your other personality is talking to you. I get this reaction from believers more than non-believers. Non-believers in general are excited to hear that God cares about them and has just spoken to them through the gifts of the Spirit. Non-believers seem to have less trouble with the fact that God may speak today about today and tomorrow and further into the future than believers have. Believers are the most skeptical.

Now, many believers have been taught that when the Canon of Scripture was completed in the mid-300’s that we, for some reason, no longer needed to hear God directly for ourselves as an “experience.” Instead, God would simply speak to us through His written Word. It is as if God has said all He was planning to say to His people, it was written down and is contained in the Bible, and then He stopped speaking. Now, if we believe that the Christian faith is a relationship with the Living God (see John 17:3) then it is hard to have a dynamic relationship with a living God if He refuses to speak to us today about today and His plans for our life and His Church for the days to come (the future).

Jesus said that we need daily spiritual bread and then told us that this “bread” was every word that continuously proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4 – Greek) In other words, God is continuing to speak to His people today – call it prayer, call it prophesy… it is absolutely essential if we are going to have a relationship with the Lord that we hear His voice regularly and accurately.

Jesus said He would build His Church and He does this through revealing His plans to His people. He said to Peter and the other disciples “upon this rock I will build My Church” and the ‘rock’ is the ability for human hearts to hear God’s voice and receive a revelation as Peter had just done. To do this you need to be able to hear God speak or reveal His plans for today – directly from His heart to your spirit and not always through the recorded Word of God as found in scripture – but also never contradiciting that Word either.

If we are to seek and receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit and let Him lead us into all truth as Jesus said He would do when He came…

If we are to believe Jesus when He said there were many other things He wanted to tell us but could not at that time but that the Holy Spirit would lead us and teach us these “many things”…

If we are to prove to a skeptical generation that Jesus is alive and that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation we will need to flow in the inspiration gifts and the revelation gifts as well as the power gifts – all 9 as found in 1 Corinthians 12 and available when Baptized in the Holy Spirit.

If we are truly to “go into all the world and make disciples…” we need to be disciples and do what Jesus did (John 14:12) even if that means being declared schizophrenic!

Yekaterinburg


I am on my way to the city of Yekaterinburg in Russia. I will be ministering in this city starting tomorrow evening and up until Sunday evening the 18th of September.

Ekaterinburg (also spelled Yekaterinburg), was from 1942 till 1991 called Sverdlovsk. It is the fourth largest city in Russia (after Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Novosibirsk). It is the administrative center of Sverdlovsk oblast – the province or district of Russia it is located in. The city is an important transport and logistic juncture on the Trans-Siberian railway (see picture) and a large industrial center. Ekaterinburg is located in the central part of Eurasia, 1667 km from Moscow and has a population of about 1,332,000 (2009) on a land area of 491 sq. km.

I will be ministering publically in this city as I am no longer allowed entrance into Russia on a tourist visa and must now enter using a “religious” visa. This means all details of my stay in each place have been sent to government authorities and I must stick perfectly to all planned stops and activities. However, it does allow for advertising of the events I will be involved in and thus larger crowds of people hearing the Gospel and learning to flow in the supernatural.

Your prayers for the next five and a half days of ministry beginning tomorrow night (Tuesday) and for another full day of travel that still needs to be accomplished would be greatly appreciated. I am currently in Germany and about to board the next flight into Russian air space.

Apostles, Prophets and Five-fold Evangelists

Sean Smith – a true five-fold evangelist walking in the supernatural – states in his wonderful book Empowering a Generation to Seize Their Day – “Apostolic work primarily involves evangelism, and seeing the gospel lived out in its recipients.”

I believe this means that apostles today will begin to feel the need to be ministering to the lost. There will be a burden placed within apostles today to reach out to those who do not know the Lord. Until now we have seen apostles as men who lay the foundation for the church (Ephesians 2:20) and who work within the church to train up and mentor the next generation of leaders, especially apostles as well as equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). I believe now we will see apostles talking a lot more about evangelism and beginning to desire to personally reach out to the lost one-on-one and in crusade settings. Evangelism will become one of their main focuses.

I also believe that this means apostles and five-fold evangelists will shortly be attracted to each other and will work together to see the lost saved. We are entering a season where the most effective evangelism will be accomplished by using the prophetic gifting. Jesus told us that the power we receive through the baptism in the Holy Spirit is so that we can witness. With that baptism comes the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. Paul records that we can all prophesy (one of those nine gifts). Jesus said that every believer was to go into the world and make disciples – so why not do it with the power and the supernatural tools that He gave to us.

Therefore, we are going to see a combining of these two “calling” – the going to win the lost (evangelism) and speaking prophetically into the lives of people so they will know that our Gospel is true and Jesus is alive (prophesying). Before we see this cominig in the lives of the disciples of the Lord in the Church however – we will first see it in the leadership as five-fold evangelists and prophets openly work together.

I understand that biblically there is a need for the apostles and prophets to work together as a team as well because then the church will truly become apostolic and prophetic. We have yet to see that happen in any lasting way that has impacted the Church in a positive way. And, to be honest with you, I don’t know if this team emphasis (apostles and prophets) happens first or at the same time we see prophets and evangelists connecting. But, I do know both will happen in the very near future.

I know that within my own heart and my apostolic ministry this pull towards evangelism is true. I have always been very active sharing my faith one-on-one in every day life events and activities but over the last year I have been serious drawn to working evangelistically as an apostle. In my overseas ministry we have initial plans for holding “healing crusades” where we can attract the lost and preach the Gospel and see the lost saved. It looks like these will begin in 2012. It will be a small start but I believe just the first small step in a large change in our apostolic ministry.

Planes and Trains…


Today I am in Canada on my way to two churches to preach and minister. Tomorrow I will be on my way to Russia to minister for the next several weeks and then several days after that have been set aside to recover strength and adjust to a 12 hour time difference. The trip over is always great – filled with expectations, excitement about what is to come, and an opportunity to read several good- sized books as it takes about 30 hours to get to where I am going.

Where am I going? For the first week – the city of Yekaterinburg or, as it is also spelled, Ekaterinburg. It is in central Russia much east of Moscow. I will fly Regina-Toronto-Frankfort, Germany-Moscow, Russia-Yekaterinburg. I will minister there for almost a week. This will include public services and a well advertised three day school as I now travel on a work / religious visa and so, in this nation, can now preach publically. This means I will have my regular shadow – my interpreter – and another shadow… a government official checking up on me daily. No privacy when in ministry overseas.

On the Sunday – the 18th – after ministring in public services we have a 10 hour train ride to the city of Yugorsk in Siberia where I will minister for three days … then another 10 hour train ride to the city of Nyagan in Siberia for another three days of ministry. As we end the trip – we go from Nyagan to Yekaterinburg by trans-Siberia rail which is a 20+ hour train ride, shower and change clothes and begin the two day trip home – airports and planes…

Your prayers for this whole trip would be greatly appreciated.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

It is a Sunday and it is the anniversary of 9-11. The Twin Towers in New York were destroyed 10 years ago today. And the western world became aware of the concept of Jihad – a holy war against the infidels who do not believe in Allah and Muhammad. And we slowly became aware of Islam as a faith – a fast growing faith in many nations of the world.

Islam simply translates as “submission” and a Muslim submits his life to Allah and is willing to die for Allah. In fact this is the only way to be guaranteed entrance into Heaven. In their teachings only Muslims can enter Heaven but not all of them – so they live without this assurance and without knowing what the next life will be like for them. Only if they die defending Allah or in an act of holy Jihad are they guaranteed a place in Heaven. This means that it is a works religion and that they can be very dangerous.

There are now well over 6 million Muslims in the United States alone and everywhere I travel overseas the sound of the call to prayer is heard in big cities and small villages no matter the nation. Worldwide the number is well in excess of 1.6 billion and growing very quickly. In other words, one fifth of the world’s population.

The spiritual leaders of Muslims are known as Imams. The imam is a religious leader, regarded as sinless, with a direct line to Ali, the cousin of Mohammed and the first imam. History tells us there were 12 imams, beginning with Ali and proceeding in a direct line to Muhammas al-Muntazar, who is considered to have disappeared from human view in C.E. 878. The twelve imam is believed to rule the world to this day, and is ultimately regarded as the only legitimate source of leadership. He is expected to return one day as well and be the world leader of the Islamic faith.

It is obvious even from the little I have written in this short blog – it is obvious that there are a lot of parallel teachings – Jesus’ ascension – the imam’s disappearance; Jesus’ return-the 12th imam’s return; both being the only source of authority for leaders… fascinating parallels setting up a clash and a spiritual war for the souls of men.

Ignorance is no longer acceptable in the world we now find ourselves ten years after 9-11. We need to know what we believe as disciples of the Lord and have a good working knowledge of what the basic doctrines of the faith are. And, we must be willing to earnestly contend for that faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). As well, we need to become militant in our evangelistic efforts as we go into all the world and make disciples for the Lord Jesus. Every one of us – no exceptions!

Love Them Without Needing Them

If you hope to help people – you know, minister to them – you must love them without needing them. “Why?” you may ask. Because if you need them you may not be able to be as honest as you need to be. You will be unable to “speak the truth in love” because you will be concerned that they may simply walk away. And they may do just that. So, to love them fully and to speak the truth in love – the whole truth – you need not to need them. You must be prepared for them to reject you and not just your help walking away never returning.

When I was first learning to minister on the streets in Toronto and at an all-night phone-in distress center I learned this secret of what is known as “detached attachment.” You can love people and help them and still remained at an emotional distance. Not uncaring, not lacking in love; wanting the best for them and willing to walk with them hand-in-hand but not needing their acceptance and approval to have a good self-image and feel self-worth. If you need to be needed then you are working as a type of co-dependent and easy to manipulate. It also means you may have some issues to deal with yourself to experience inner healing and full emotional and relational health.

If you hope to be or are a leader in a church – this is a truth you will need to learn. This is a foundational principle for church leadership. We must learn to love them without needing them.

If you are leading your church through change – again, this will be a practical piece of advice as some will not like the changes and will leave and let you know that you are one of the main reasons for them leaving… let them go. Otherwise they will negatively influence others if they stay. Love them, bless them, release them. Don’t need them. You did not fail them – you are simply leading the best you can in the situation you have in front of you. When churches are transitioning you are bound to lose some. It’s okay – others will join and your group will grow again both in numbers and in health.

Detached attachment allows you to maintain your integrity, minister powerfully to the root of issues you see in the situation, speak the whole truth in love, and represent Jesus accurately in the situation or relationship. It also keeps you from being manipulated and used by others.

This is the way Jesus functioned in the pages of the New Testament. He did not chase the rich young ruler – simply stated truth and let him walk away. Detached attachment. He told Nicodemus the truth about being born again and did not force a decision. He let him go. Twice in fact! Detached attachment. But both these men ended up disciples of the Lord and powerfully spoke the truth in love in their ministries.

Today in the Church and in the world as we witness to others we need more disciples willing to speak the truth yet doing so in love just as Jesus would do.

Interesting World In Which We Live

42% – the percentage of Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 who say they have seen pornography online within the past year (University of New Hampshire survey)

Age is but a number. Now, technophobic senior adults can easily surf the Web by logging on to Cranky.com, a search engine for Internet users 50 and over. The new search engine features larger font, a simple interface, and only displays four authoritative sites for each search. Launched in July 2006, the number one search term is “sex.”

For student body, clothing optional. Many leading universities, generally considered bastions of intellectualism and culture, report that “naked parties” are gaining popularity among students. Some parties involve students standing around sipping beer from red plastic cups, proudly displaying their birthday suits, while others have students streaking across campus. Is this self-confidence or lack thereof?

High school grads
Only 40% of 18 to 24-year-olds say that religion is a very important part of their lives
35% worry about getting a sexually transmitted disease
60% say they worry about getting a job (source: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)

65% of Bible-believing Christians have never read the entire New Testament
50% of teens believe that Jesus may have committed sins
43% of Americans function at below basic literacy levels
Is this saying something to the Church in North America today?

41% of the formerly churched (called dechurched) said that they would return to the local church if a friend or acquaintance invited them.

400,000 pounds – total weight of bananas given away during servant evangelism events by Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, La., this summer

Just thought there might be some room for thought in some of these odds and ends statistics…

Do You Really Believe the Bible?

<strong>As a disciple of the Lord Jesus I believe that the Bible is inspired by God, God’s authoritative Word, and the rock upon which we are to design and build our personal life. I have believed that since the day I was born again and the belief is stronger now many decades later because I have tested His Word and its wisdom so many times and it has never failed me.

In a recent survey by “The Culture and Media Institute” it appears that 52% of people living in North America would agree with me. In their survey 52% say that the believe that the Bible is God’s authoritative Word. However, of those people, only 36% say that they believe people should live by Scripture. Some 45% of those same people say that they operate by a mixture of God’s commands and their own thoughts and inclination. And 15% of these same people ignore God’s Word if it conflicts with their own plans.

I just love surveys like this one. How can people say that they believe the Bible is God’s authoritative Word and then not live by what it says and teaches? How can you think it is God’s Word and then live according to a mixture of His Word and your thoughts – especially when the Bible states that “His thoughts are not your thoughts and His ways not your ways?” How can you think it is what God said and says and yet ignore it totally if it disagrees with what you want to do? Is this not a total contradiction.

However, I believe that if we narrowed the survey and asked only Born Again Christians the same questions we would find the same results to our survey. We believe but we don’t. We say that God’s Word is our only authority when really, in reality, it isn’t and never was. We say that God’s Word is our guide and yet we follow our own feelings and inclinations regardless. I believe that the statistics for Born Again believers would be as high as that for the general population. And, from my experience with believers, the younger the person the higher the percentages.

So, we have taught people well. The Word is authoritative and should be the foundation upon which a personal life, a family life, a work life is built. But, maybe we are hearers of the Word and not doers. And, the Bible states that this is not the way to live a life pleasing to God. It also makes us poor examples to follow and certainly poor fishers of men as we ask people to believe what we believe but not do what we do.

I think it would be amazing to see what would happen if I was to work with a group of believers who took the Word of God really seriously and built their personal and corporate life around what the Word states. Maybe that group – a Church that Jesus is building – would radically alter the world and see a tremendous harvest of souls. I am believing I will actually witness that in my life time. Better still, be a part of it!

Transformational Disciples

Around the world there is an emerging group of true believers in the Lord Jesus. These are men and women, often young, who are what I call “Transformational Disciples.” They are the ones who are rising to the challenge of “going into all the world and making disciples…” They are demonstrating the Great Commandment to love God with your total being by carrying out the Great Commission. After all, Jesus said that if we love Him we will obey Him and He was the One who sent His disciples into the world to seek and save the lost. Read more