The Secret Of Growing In Wisdom

Someone once said, “The secret of growing in divine wisdom is to come to God stupid. Tell Him you don’t know a thing. Tell Him you need to know how to think, how to tie your shoes, how to win friends and influence anybody!”

With that kind of heart, God does His best work. When He is looking for receptacles into which He can place His divine wisdom, He looks for PHD’s … those who are Poor, Hungry, and Desperate!

Often, when I am ministering to people here and in other nations they often ask to speak to me as they want input or advice. So, I let them know I have 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes … whatever it is I actually have available to speak with them. They then proceed to fill the alloted time with the situation they are in and their understanding of that situation. They leave next to no time for the input they apparently desired to receive. They have not come into the situation as a PHD – ready to receive. They have come to share their story and the way they are handling it. Nice! I listen politely. But it means I could have had a cup of coffee and shared some fellowship with someone or simply gone and had a rest. They were really not looking for input – or, at the least, do not know how to receive input.

When I go to see or arrange to talk with one of my mentors – I quickly determine how much time they have for me on the given day and then in a very brief manner explain what I am facing or what I need to know and then shut up. I am “Poor” and needing input and wisdom; I am “Hungry” and needing as much information and insight that I can get; and I am “Desperate” or else, if I knew what to do, I would not be bothering my mentor.I am a PHD… And, I come with a note pad and write down what they are saying. In this way I can remember their points and the wisdom they shared (a digital recording would do the same). It also shows them that I am taking their input seriously.

So, as we all approach another year to learn and to grow here are my suggestions:
1> Find a mentor or two who can help to guide and direct you in the coming year
2> Set out the areas that you want to grow in and then ask for their help in those areas
3> Plan to meet with or talk to them on a “regular” basis (whatever their schedule allows)
4> Come to your meetings with questions to ask and listen to their answers (taking notes)
5> Always enter into your conversations with your mentors PHD – Poor, Hungry, and Desperate.

The next blog will be published and sent out on the 31st of December as I will be working with a writing project next week as well as having some extra family time…

Our Changing Culture

Today’s culture is called postmodernism – often shortened to “pomo.” This change is thinking offers some unique opportunities for the Church in every nation of the world. As believers who are “going into all the world making disciples” as Jesus commanded we need to know and understand the shift in worldview that postmodernism has brought about. Let me just list a few of the changes…

Modernism (the old way) Postmodernism (the new way)

Truth is objective Truth is subjective
Exclusivity Relativity
Rationalism Experientialism
Absolute certainty Skepticism
Individualism Communalism
Functionality Creativity
Hierarchy, order Decentralization
Linearism Nonlinearism
Permanence Transience
Localism Globalism

These are just some of the major changes in the way people “see life” and thus ‘live life.’

So, we need to know its characteristics and then consider what needs to change in the way that we approach others and the way that we present the Gospel. The message never changes but the culture we are presenting the message to does change. Thus our methods must change and adjust. So, spend a few minutes and consider the ways you must change so that you can make strides in reaching those who find themselves living in a world that is much more subjective than it used to be.

The Man Who Prayed a Bold Prayer

In the Talmud – the Jewish commentaries of the Old Testament – there is a little story about Honie who was called the Circle Maker. In short, there is a drought in Israel during the first century B.C. E., and one guy becomes famous for praying for rain, almost like Elijah. Honie draws a circle in the sand, kneels down in to and says, “Sovereign Lord, I swear before your great name that I will not leave this circle until You have mercy upon your children.” What an unbelievable bold prayer. He was almost excommunicated by the Sanhedrin because they felt like it was too demanding, but you can’t argue with a miracle. It did rain upon the land of Israel. He was ultimately honored for the prayer that saved a generation.

It is this incredible story of a bold prayer that led many of his day and even some today to believe that “BOLD PRAYERS HONOR GOD AND GOD HONORS BOLD PRAYER.

So, in light of the story I have been looking at what I pray for and what I am asking God to do in me and through me in 2013 … You see, what you pray for really sheds a light on what you believe about your Heavenly Father. What you pray speaks loudly about your relationship with Him – the depth of that relationship and how personal the relationship really is … how close you are to His heart and He to yours. What you pray really determines what will happen for you, to you, in you, and through you in 2013. Yes, God has a plan for your life and a purpose for you to pursue and fulfill; but you must cooperate with that plan and the details that have been revealed regarding it. And, one of the key ways to cooperate with Him is through prayer – bold prayer. In other words, believing all that God has spoken in His Word (the Bible) and spoken prophetically and praying in line with what He has has spoken.

So, I encourage you, I challenge you, to have a good and honest look at your prayers and see what it is you are generally praying about and maybe make some deep changes in your heart and your relationship with The Lord. Then, as a result, begin to pray prayers that are bold and believing – releasing the power of God so that His plans and purpose for your life in 2013 is released and becomes a reality.

I, for one, am ready to draw a line in the sand, step over the line, and never look back. I want to pray bold prayers that release the will of God on Earth as it is in Heaven.

The Very Gateway to Heaven

In the book of Genesis Jacob has a dream… In this dream he has an encounter with God Himself in which God makes a remarkable promise to him. Upon waking up, Jacob was understandably excited. He cried out, “‘Surely The Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!’ But he was afraid and said, ‘What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to Heaven!'” (Genesis 28:16-17 NLT).

The phrase that really spoke to me was “the gateway to Heaven.” What Jacob described in his excitement that morning is exactly what my heart’s desire is for this ministry that I have. I want each service and each meeting that I am involved in to be a place where, like Jacob, people experience the love, the power, and the peace of God. I want the services and meetings to be a place where people would feel His presence the moment they walked in the door. I want people, born again and unsaved, to be able to declare, “Surely The Lord is in this place.”

As someone who loves to evangelize and see people come to know the Lord Jesus Christ – today’s real and only door or ‘gateway.’ I want desperately to have each service I am involved in be a supernatural connecting point – a gateway – that brings people closer to the Way and the Gate, Jesus Christ. If they are already saved I want the service to be a place where they are drawn closer to the tangible presence of the Lord and where they will experience the power of the Spirit, encountering the supernatural peace of God that passes all reasonable understanding. If they are not yet children of the Living God I want each service and each meeting to be a place where they encounter the power, presence, and peace of God as found in and through the Lord Jesus. I want His presence to be so tangible and real that they will know they are encountering the Living God and that they will then enter through the Door and kneel at the foot of the cross and become believers.

Several years ago the Lord prophetically promised that this ministry would see the power of God in a fresh and new (and powerful) way. That the power of God would go before this ministry and prepare hearts and minds; that the power of God would be visible and evident when ministering; and that the power would be “deposited” in such a way as to continue working supernaturally in people’s lives even after I left to go to the next place of ministry. I believe 2013 will see the release and fulfillment of that Word of the Lord.

Just 6 months ago while in Ohio a prophetic voice came up to me during the service and declared God’s will over my life and again spoke of power and fire (I have recently typed that word out in full and posted it on line – one of four I received in 2012) that will be a notable feature of this ministry as I move forward in His will and continue to teach and prophesy in the nations. I sense in my spirit that 2013 is the time for the fulfillment of these words… and that God’s presence, power, and peace will be so real and tangible that people will know that “Surely God is in this place” and will encounter the living Jesus Christ in fresh and new ways at each and every service. He is, of course, the living Gateway to Heaven today.

I am believing for a fresh anointing, an increased flow of His power, and more of the real supernatural – miracles, signs, and wonders – as we see many more come to know the Lord, people set free, and believers encouraged, trained, and equipped. Please stand with me in faith and thank God for what He has promised and what He is about to release. I am excited.

An Unlikely Candidate

I am the most unlikely candidate for a ministry to the nations. I really am. I am someone who likes to be home, who does not like to travel, prefers not to take a holiday as that means I need to go somewhere… I prefer to read and write much more than speak and minister. I feel no need to see other nations or meet more people. I certainly have no interest in being known or being in demand as a minister of the Gospel. I would be very happy pastoring a local church and loving the people that God gives to me to care for. But, that was not God’s plan – but it is the way He operates.

God chooses the rustic, barely educated fisherman Peter to carry the Gospel to the cream of Jewish society. And, He sends Paul, with his elite education and sterling religious pedigree, to pagan Gentiles who couldn’t care less about his Jewish credentials. So, as I look at my life and growing international ministry I am well aware that I am NOT a walking advertisement for the power of natural talent, clever strategy, and brilliant marketing. I’m a living, breathing testament to the power of God’s unfathomable grace.

In reality I am simply responding to what the Holy Spirit is doing. I always feel one step behind – and that is good as I am following Him as He leads. I often feel that I am over my head and into territory that is unfamiliar and certainly not comfortable. This too is good as then I will trust in Him and not in my own abilities and talents (which are really few). In spite of my natural leanings as an introvert I do enjoy what He has called me to do and this is certainly His grace working powerfully each time I step out in faith and say yes to a new opportunity. In my mind I am the least likely person anyone would choose for the job – but then, it is not a job, it is a calling and it is my calling.

I am looking forward to 2013 and beyond and all the opportunities and challenges that the new season will bring. I am put in remembrance of a verse The Lord shared with me three years ago during a summer camp I was teaching at… “”Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are My people.” (Acts 18:9b-10 ESV).

Continuing to Grow

Paul the apostle writes, “Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand.” (2 Corinthians 10:15 NIV)

As Ralph Howe Ministries approaches 2013 this is also my hope. That as I continue to travel overseas and into the United States of America the faith of the people I minister to will grow and that, as it does, new doors will open for this ministry. The call on this ministry is summarized as “Loving God, Equipping people, Mentoring leaders, Reaching nations” and I am believing for more opportunities to minister in 2013 than were seen in 2012. Each year this ministry has grown stronger and has had the opportunity to impact more and more people. Please join with me in believing that this trend will continue.

Doors open for this ministry a number of ways. The best and most powerful is by word of mouth. As people share the impact that the teaching of God’s Word has had on their church and life new doors open. And, of course, the prophetic (over people, churches, and nations) also opens many doors as people share their testimonies of how the Word of The Lord changed their life and came to pass. This ministry also receives many inquiries through the web page (English and Russian) and often a door will open through these contacts. However, no matter which way new doors open we know that these “doors of opportunity” are really being opened by God Himself.

The feel in the spirit realm and in my heart is that God is birthing a new vision for the ministry and for my increasingly focused work within that vision. And, that the vision will involve work in many new countries in many areas of the world and, as a result, He is giving to me a new or, at least, increased worldview and places a number of new burdens on my heart. It is as if this ministry is now ready to hatch and move forward with new power, new insights, and new opportunities.

In the last few months I have been thinking deeply about this ministry and some of the changes needed in my life and ministry to continue to meet the increasing demand. I have been slowly journaling about what I believe needs to change and how The Lord is wanting to redesign this ministry, my role in this ministry, and the things this ministry places its hands to. As this leading continues I will begin to write the occasional blog bringing you up to date on what is and will be happening.

Meanwhile, as we all approach Christmas and the start of a New Year would you please join me in praying that “our area of activity among you will greatly expand.” Thanks.

A Simple Outline of the Christian Faith

I believe we are facing a two-pronged problem in the Christian Church. The first is that we often make things much too complicated. The second prong is that we simplify everything and so end up with absolutely no substance at all – just a lot of fluff, smoke and mirrors. In either case the Christian faith and the message of the Gospel of the Kingdom suffers and God’s people perish for lcak of knowledge and a proper vision of The Lord and His Church.

I tend to take things that can be somewhat complicated and make them simple to understand. That is what communicators do. Simple to understand but not dummied down so that the content and the challenge is taken out of the message and the Gospel literally becomes meaningless and void of power.

An example would be the way I describe the Christian faith. I beliee that to be a Christian involves:
1> Believing in Jesus
2> Belonging to His family – the Church
3> Becoming His disciple (becoming like Him)
4> Building His Kingdom

Now, that may seem simple and I meant it to be both simple and something you could remember and thus think about later. It is not complicated and yet it is not without substance. It has depth.

To believe in Jesus means more than mentally agreeing with the tenants of the Christian faith. It is not a ‘mind’ thing – it is having a heart revealtion of who Jesus is and who and what you are in light of who He is. And, then it means coming to trust in Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life and the only way to our Heavenly Father. Believving is trusting and changing one’s life accordingly.

To belong to His family means more than attending on Sunday and throwing some money in the offering basket. It means being connected to other members, forming solid and long-term relationships with other believers within the same local church, and being connected to the life of the local community of believers. It means being a giver and not just a taker…and using your gifts to benefit others who are part of the family.

To become His disciple means following Him and becoming like Him. The key emphasis here is the change in your character and the resulting changes in your lifestyle. As well, remember that Jesus said that we are to follow Him so that He could make us into fishers of men. So, becoming like Him and a disciple means we will be sharing His love for the lost and His mandate to seek and save the lost.

Building His Kingdom means being mission-minded and following the Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples. In other words, expanding the Kingdom of God and the rule of the Prince of Peace (Jesus) by reproducing. After all, healthy sheep begat sheep. So, as we evangelize and go into the nations of the world we are building His Kingdom.

So, I simplified the content into an easy to remember outline – but I refuse to water down the content of the Gospel and the commitment required to be a true believer and disciple of The Lord.


When I travel overseas to minister there are a vast numbers of elements that make up a day’s ministry … meetings with pastors where I listen and advise, teaching God’s Word to public meetings, times of prayer with various leaders, fellowship over meals, prophesying over leaders, people, and organizations (and occasionally a nation)… Of course, people want to receive a prophetic word and so this aspect of the ministry can and often does occupy a great deal of my time.

The prophetic words received always speak to the potential of the person. They are futuristic, stating the opportunities that God is offering to the person – opportunities not certainties; possibilities, God’s best plan should the person choose to walk in it and cooperate with Him. Often people look at this and think that God is speaking to what is ahead. However, God sees your future not as what lies ahead of you but what lies within you.

When God speaks to a person’s potential in the prophetic He is speaking to what He has placed within a person. Potential is everything you can be but have not become yet. It’s everything you can do but haven’t done yet. It’s everywhere you can go but have not gone yet. Potential is the books you can write that you haven’t written yet. It is the life you’ve always wanted to live but have not lived yet. It is like a huge engine – running idle. It is energy still underutilized, power yet unleashed, and strength yet used.

When your potential is tapped-out in the place you have been, it may require another location to uncork potential that lies latent within. In other words, your prophetic word will require that you relocate. It may not state that but it will become evident in time that this is part of the details God didn’t mention. Other times, your potential (your prophetic word) may require a new vision or a renewed cause that you have lost sight of. But whatever the direction, whatever is required, you will need to cooperate, work and pray hard, keep in line with what God has stated is your potential, and watch that potential be released.

So, the prophetic always speaks to your potential. Potential always lies ahead of you, not behind you. It is found in what can still be done, not in what you have already done.

I noticed that about Paul the apostle. Although older and in prison, facing the possibility of death, he garners a renewed energy to continue with vitality and buoyancy. Where does he garner this energy?
Philippians 3:12 gives it away: “I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christi Jesus.” In other words, God had a purpose for his life, he heard that purpose through both an inner whisper in his spirit as well as prophetically a number of times, and he is doing all he can to move forward into that prophetically stated future.

Your past may be filled with trophies or checkered with failure, but in either case, evaluate what you can improve on and what God has asked of you – what you can still accomplish. Think through your prophetic potential and let His Words excite you and awaken you each morning. When you do, you will find a brand new hope. And, hope in the future brings power in the present and you will find yourself living with new energy. You will have then tapped in to your potential – it is there inside you, within the wrappings of your passion and packaged within holy parameters. Spend time unwrapping God’s potential as stated and find out who you really are. Surrender! Because when you do, your best days will await your arrival.

Drink – Don’t Drive

A quote from an unknown source: “The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.” One of the greatest lessons that I’m learning from God is that rest is not a sin. Taking a break doesn’t mean you are lazy or that you are not valuable. Catching your breath now and then does not mean you are not carrying your load, or that you are less committed to your church, your company, or your calling.

I have learned that scheduling rest in BEFORE my calendar fills up is really the way to go. rest is jot an afterthought; it has to be a primary responsibility. It brings a rhythm back to life and a cadence that makes like sustainable. If you are tired, your soul gets weary. And if your soul gets weary, you are depleted more than you can afford. If you were a long distance runner there is a rule that is followed; every fifteen minutes you drink six ounces of water. Even if you are not thirsty you are not allowed to violate your hydration limits. Here’s the point – If you wait until you are thirsty to take a drink, it’s too late. Your body is already into dehydration. The same is true spiritually for your soul and your spirit.

This is why God gave us the gift of rest (the Sabbath). And, today it seems that we have a hard time accepting His extravagant gift. We somehow imagine that the world (or our family, our marriage, our company) won’t be able to go on without our involvement. There is simply too much to do and no time to rest. Yet God says: “You shall do no work at all… it is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls.” (Leviticus 23:31-32) Did you hear what it said? In this version of the commandment it tells us the reason for a time of rest – a sabbath. It is to “humble your soul.”

What does that mean? God is saying that if we wait until the work is done before we rest, we will never rest. The work will never be done! So even in the midst of the work, we have to cease and rest. Wow! You mean, we are not indispensable? This may be a really rude awakening. but the fact is the world will go on even if we are not involved for a day. Don’t think about this one too long, but the world will also go on even after we depart this life. I know it is difficult to contemplate, but it is true. When we rest at predesignated intervals, we are reminding ourselves that ultimately God controls the outcomes, not me or all of my wonderful efforts. It is good for us to wean ourselves off the need to be needed. For many, this would be the beginning of health.

In fact, if we violate the Sabbath rest, something morphs in our soul. We start to get proud, edgy, anxious. The psalmist tells us, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.” (Psalm 127:2) God says, “Let Me humble your soul with rest. It is not all about you. I can get the work done even without you.” When we rest, God continues His work. When we reenter, it is with a humbled soul, hungry again for what He has called us to do. We return once again as a servant knowing that our Master can and did manage with us but that He is again offering us an opportunity to become involve din His work.

The lesson – drink in on regular intervals and stop driving yourself – take time to rest. In short form: Drink … Don’t Drive!

The Evening and the Morning – The Second Day

I am always amazed at God’s Word, our Bible. Every time I read it I learn something new. Not “learn” as in more information in my head; “learn” as in a heart revelation and thus transformation because of the new insights. An example: I am flying to Bishkek, Krygyzstan recently and I am reading and The Lord asked me, “When does your day begin?” When do you start your day?” Now, when The Lord asks me a question I know He is not looking for information – afterall, He is God and knows everything. He is asking so that I will learn (in my heart) a new truth and thus be transformed. My answer was, “Whenever I wake up!” Of course, at the time of asking I was mixing mornings and evenings up due to flying through 12 time zones on to the other side of Planet Earth. So, in reality I was not sleep and the morning and evenings were all mixed up. But, I digress.

God then showed me that if I were to look at the creation story (book of Genesis) where He created the days, we find these words: “So the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:5 NKJV). This pattern is repeated as God continues to create each successive day. “So the evening and the morning were the second day.” (Genesis 1:8 NKJV). In other words, God started each day in the evening, not the morning. Your day does not begin when you get up. It starts when you go to sleep. Rest begins your new day, not coffee.

I have been doing it wrong. I thought my day began with the morning’s coffee and the start of activities; but instead, it actually began with the evening’s rest. I was now in need of reprogramming my mind to that biblical reality. You see, the success of any short race is determined at the start, and now that my days obviously start in the evening – I needed to start better. There are two ways to win a race. One is to be faster than everyone else , and the other is to start sooner! In a normal race, that’s called cheating. But in life, it’s called wisdom. For an Olympain, it is called illegal. For a Christian, it is called biblical.

If you ever need to sleep in, learn to sleep in on the front side of the clock, not the back side. Simply put, your deepest sleep is when your REM cycles happen, and that typically takes place between 11:00p and 3:00a. That is when you will get your deepest sleep. If you miss getting to bed before 1:00a, you will have missed half your chance at receiving your deepest rest. You may think you can sleep in until 9:00a to get your eight hours of sleep. But you are mistaken! You will have had the sleep time, but not the rest. Your sleep will be shallow compared to what it could have been, and when you awaken just before noon, you will still feel sluggish and lethargic.

So, you can sleep in on the back side dumb, or sleep in on the front side smart. Go to bed at 9:00p and get up at 5:00a. Then you will have had eight hours of sleep – real sleep! Then you will have had a good night’s sleep – evening and morning – because you are cooperating with God’s design for the body.Learn to sleep on the front side of the clock. Sleep right and double your rest…

While in Montreal I am attempting to implement what I learned while flying to Bishkek.