Had lunch today with two amazing men of God. Two apostles. Totally different from each other in personality, manner of ministering, giftings, and experiences. But, as I sat with them discussing the work of the Kingdom and, in specific, the church I am here working with, it was amazing to see the wisdom that the Holy Spirit was bring out of the three of us. The discussion was great, the insights bountiful, and the wisdom was definitely godly. 

The Bible states, “There is wisdom in the multitude of counsellors.” I agree. So, three apostles discussing the church that we oversee as a team seeking wisdom. Three men in spiritual oversight over a local congregation that is in a season of transition and replanting looking for direction. It was so good to fellowship with these men and share our hearts as well as our insights with each other.

As we were leaving the restaurant and paying the bill several of us felt that we needed to encourage the other one. And, so we sat outside the restaurant for another 20 minutes asking our brother specifically how he was doing and how his wife was making it through all the changes and challenges. He shared openly and honestly and we were able to pray for him and encourage him. He knew afterwards that he was not standing alone and not facing the challenges by himself. Again, as the scripts state, “It is so good when the brothers dwell together in unity; there the Lord commands a blessing.”

It was a good few hours. We were about our Father’s business and we worked as a team in shedding new light on an ongoing situation. We pooled our understanding of the Kingdom and the current move of the Holy Spirit. We shared from our experiences as each of us have been in ministry over 40 years and have certainly seen a lot and learned a lot. We laughed and we cried. And, God’s plan and purpose began to be seen and we understood the next few steps that we needed to take as overseers of the local church we were talking about.

God gave us wisdom in a very difficult situation and allowed us to focus on the solutions and not just the problems. As a mentor of mine once taught, “anyone can see the problem; don’t come and just tell me the problem, come with two or three solutions.” So, we were seeking the solutions God has for the situations we were and are facing. And, God gave us His wisdom because we sincerely and earnestly asked for it. And, because we were seeking Him together in unity and with one accord He certainly poured out His blessing and made a way where they was no way.

Wisdom – godly wisdom – is a gift of the Lord who seek Him and ask for His insight and understanding. And, we all need wisdom.


Had a great morning yesterday teaching at a local church in Ohio, USA. The worship was great, the spiritual atmosphere was terrific, the offering was taken up after a young person spoke and she did such a terrific job you just want her to keep going. She was electric, alive, and believed what she was sharing. The teaching was well received. I believe God was honoured. Then we had a fellowship lunch. I use the word “fellowship” lightly. 

I sat with a young man and his family (mom, wife, two kids) and asked him about his journey with Jesus and his connection to the church. Everyone joined in and it was amazing. It was true fellowship because we were talking about Jesus and how amazing He is and all that He has accomplished for us, in us, with us, through us. There were a few side conversations with those around us as well. All good. Then, as the kids got restless and the food had disappeared from the plates they got up to take care of the young ones. I sat. I simply sat. No one approached me, those beside me did not begin conversations. I sat, just sat. I have been working with this church for 8 years. But, if I had been a stranger, a first-time visitor, I would not have returned.

And, I listened to the conversations going on across the table and on both sides of me. They were talking about hair styles and where best to get hair products. And, what is the current trend in hair styles and colours. Not very edifying and certainly not fellowship. More like gossip and “idle words, non-productive words” which Jesus reminds us will be judged. So, I got up and walked to the front to pick up my Bible, Pepsi Zero, and iPhone. 

At that point I was approached by a person who has been attending for years and actually plays a major “helps” role in the Sunday service. She asked if I had a minute to talk. I did. Her first concern – the fact that people don’t spend time talking to each other very often and, when they do, they don’t talk about Jesus. I was listening. I was also agreeing. It had been my experience earlier in the day. And, sad to say, my experience almost everywhere that I go regardless of the nation or the culture.

When Christians gather our focus should be Jesus and what He has done in our lives and what He is currently accomplishing, changing, adjusting, working on in us. True fellowship is not just believers talking about anything and everything. True fellowship is founded in our basic fellowship with the Holy Spirit as we share that connection with Him with other believers. And, the Holy Spirit always glorifies Jesus and draws our attention to what it is Jesus is currently doing in our lives. So, If we are experiencing true Christian fellowship we are all listening to and following the lead of the Holy Spirit who lives in us and, as we share with one another, our words and our focus will be Jesus.

In my life I have a Christian brother as a close, personal friend. He is also my accountability partner. We just spent three weeks together on holidays camping and kayaking. Each day we spent considerable time walking and talking. Each evening around the campfire we would sit and chat. Our focus was always the journey we are both on with Jesus. It was true, in-depth fellowship that glorified God and honoured what He is accomplishing in each of our lives and in our friendship together. The focus was Jesus and where we are at in our journey with Him and how He is working in our lives changing and adjusting things. And, although others may think our focus was us – it was only so indirectly. The big picture was that we shared what the Lord was doing currently in each of our lives and in our friendship and the relationship we share. That is true biblical fellowship.

Often we call our time with other believers “fellowship.” When really it is simply talking. Often it is sharing gossip and pulling others down. The topic for more senior type people is often their medical condition and the prescriptions they are taking. For men it is sports. For many it is the latest TMZ or People Magazine buzz on Hollywood stars and the latest movies. But, it really is not fellowship unless somewhere and somehow people speak about Jesus and glorify God in the conversation.

Just a thought – but a decently deep and possibly life-changing thought.



When you were conceived in your mother’s womb – even before that – God knew all about you
He created you in His image
He made you unique
He considered you very special
He loved you
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
When you were born – your FIRST BIRTH … Physical

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Early Morning Coffee

I am in the hills of Ohio ministering and enjoying the beauty of nature. Out front where I drink an early morning coffee I see the rolling hills and the forest into which is nestled a few homes that in the summer cannot be seen because of the trees. It is certainly a beautiful area and one that I never tire of seeing and experiencing. Early in the morning the coffee is hot, smells great, tastes even better. The birds are all out singing and the squirrels and wild turkeys are scurrying about finding their morning meal. Did I mention the flowers? 

Most people are still asleep. And, this is good. I am looking for quiet during an early start of the day to reflect about life and ministry. I am looking for solitude to contemplate, read, and journal about the life journey that I am on. I am looking to grasp a wider Kingdom perspective as I sit, relax, enjoy the sights and sounds… uninterrupted by other humans for a few brief moments. 

It is here that I recharge. I sense God’s presence in a very real and tangible way. I experience His peace in both my head and my heart. My head is the hardest because my mind is always thinking, analyzing, and sorting. I sense and experience His power as I pray through some things that are fresh on my heart and need my attention today as I attend meetings and spend time with my host who leads the church here that I work with.

Being outside and alone in nature is refreshing. It is a time of solitude when I can connect with the Creator in ways that are not as easy when the weather is colder and the sun rises later in the morning and sets before the evening meal. The early sunrises and late sunsets allow for more time to connect with the God whom we worship and serve. Please note that I said that I am using the time to connect and not reconnect. This is because a believer should never disconnect in their relationship with the Lord and Giver of life. Thus if we don’t disconnect then we don’t have the need to reconnect. But we can always go deeper in our relational connection.

I use the summer to spend extra time in the early morning when the sun is rising and in the early evening when the sun is setting – time to spend deepening my relationship with the Lord. This means taking time to be still and know that He is truly God as the Psalmist stated so long ago. This means making sure I guard this time to be alone with Him – solitude. After all, even Jesus frequently went away by Himself to spend time in fellowship with the Father. It means being silent in His presence allowing Him to speak to me in my spirit. In this way I am sharpening my listening skills and taking the time to really hear Him speak to me about me and about us – His relationship with me.

And, in these special times in this slower season it is good to grow in my fellowship with the Holy Spirit as He is the One who is here to guide and direct me in all aspects of my life and ministry (2 Corinthians 13:14). So, I spend time focusing on my relationship with Him as I learn to be more sensitive to His voice, His leading, and His guidance in my life.

Early morning coffee – and an evening watching the sun set as I drink a mid-evening cup of decaf – during the slower summer season. A real blessing that we can all take advantage of and be thankful for.

Drinking Coffee In An Airport

I am in my third of four airports for the day. A 14 hour travel day and I am doing what I usually do when flying and when waiting for a flight. Reading and drinking good coffee. And, when I tire of reading and have run out of things to share in an email with my accountability partner then I watch people. 

People are amazing. They come in all different shapes and sizes. They come in different colours. Some speak loudly and others speak softly. They can be relaxed, uptight, anxious, worried, frightened, or apparently at peace with themselves and the world around them. Some look refreshed and ready to go. Others look tired and wanting to finally board their last flight home. Young and old and every age in-between. As I watch some walk with an assurance and a confidence. Others walk with a definite uncertainty and caution. Some are simply lost and can’t find their gate no matter how hard they are apparently trying. People are interesting.

Here is a deep thought… every person walking by me at this moment has two things in common. First, they are travelling from somewhere to somewhere. I told you it was deep. Secondly, every one of them is dying. Some may be young, others may be old but they are all on the journey of life and this journey will, one day, come to an end. They will “pass” as everyone says it today. They will physically die and cease to be a viable human being on the planet as their earth suit (body) is finished. Life has left it.

But this is not the end of life for these people. They truly have “passed.” They have passed from life to death and from planet Earth to … and here’s the rub. They have predetermined their final resting place – heaven or hell. If they have a vibrant, personal, love relationship with Jesus that is a daily reality, then they have chosen ahead of time to enter heaven. And, Jesus, because of His relationship with them, has prepared a place for them for when they arrive. Others, because they have neglected the message of hope and love known as the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:14) will have a place reserved for them in hell. John’s gospel speaks of this…

John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

Please note that their sins don’t send them to hell. They chose not to believe in who Jesus is and what He accomplished through His death on the cross. This lack of belief or faith in Christ and His completed work is what opens the door to hell as their final place to spend eternity. They have chosen this place. God did not condemn them to be there forever. He made a way out and sent His Son to die for us (see: John 3:16-17). Jesus made a way where there was no way. And, if we choose not to believe and to ignore or reject His offer then we can blame no one but ourselves for where life finally takes us. 

Every person born upon the earth has a default setting of “hell”. So, when they pass that is where the go. However, we can change that default setting by understanding the true Christian message of salvation by grace through faith. And, receiving Jesus as Lord, Saviour, Master, and the Christ – the only door into eternity and God’s presence. When you come to believe that Jesus has made a way where there was no way and receive His gift of the supernatural ability to have a personal relationship with Him (called eternal life – John 17:3) then you have reset your default setting to Heaven.

So, a lot of people walking past me here in the airport rushing to or from their next destination are also moving forward in life to their final destination. And, not one of us knows when that day when we ‘cross over’ is going to be. 

Makes one sense the urgency to tell people the good news of the Gospel… that Jesus still saves today.  

Fully Engaged In Life

Most people do not fully engage in life. For many reasons, too many to write about in a brief blog, many people are unable to fully embrace life as it happens to them and engage in it fully. They are hesitant in relationships. They are not fully open to others so others never see the real person that they are. They have been hurt and so have withdrawn in all relationships and don’t let the mask down so that you can come to really know them as a person. They may even be afraid that if you get to know them you won’t like what you see and will reject them, leave them. 

A few months ago I read a book that gave some guidelines that help each one of us to leave the ‘hiddenness’ and embrace the real person that is seldom seen and often is not even known by you – because you hide you from you. These are guidelines that we all need to cultivate so that we can come out of the closet and be yourself when with others. 

1> Cultivate Authenticity. Letting go of what people think about you or might think about you if they ever do.

2> Cultivate Self-Compassion. Letting go of perfectionism. You can never be perfect so stop trying. Be present and not perfect as another book I recently read recommends.

3> Cultivate a resilient spirit. Letting go of numbing and powerlessness. Stop living life in a state of ‘no feelings’ and start taking control of your life starting with your feelings. Take ownership of your life and be responsible for what happens in life. 

4> Cultivate gratitude and joy. This means letting go of the feeling that you don’t yet have enough to be happy or content and also learning to no longer live with the fear that what you have may not be enough or that you may even lose what “little you have.”

5> Cultivate intuition and trusting faith. This means letting go of the need for certainty.

6> Cultivate creativity. Letting go of comparison and simply being yourself – and you are created in God’s image and He is the Creator so cultivate that side of your being.

7> Cultivate play and rest. This means letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as how you earn and recognize your self-worth.

8> Cultivate calm and stillness. Letting go of anxiety and worry as a lifestyle.

9> Cultivate meaning fun work. Letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to” as you no longer live by the expectations of others and the general society.

10> Cultivate laughter, song, and dance. Letting go of being cool and ‘always in control.’

This is called “wholehearted living.” Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection with yourself and others to wake up in the morning and think: “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” It is going to bed at night thinking, “Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

Wholehearted living is not earning your worth but recognizing that you are worthy just because you are you.


Guest Blogger – Bill Lewis, Apostle and Lead Pastor of The Connection, Butler, Ohio

Sometimes we feel like we are walking in the dark, totally unfamiliar with our surroundings. We hope we are walking in faith, but the darkness obscures any clues, markers, or clear vision. We are being guided by something internal, deep inside, hopefully we trust the leading is from the Holy Spirit and that voice is his.

When we read the scriptures and the faith voyage of our heroes, we just assume it was easy. We assume they were confident, never wavered, were on task all the way. Then, I come across John the Baptist asking of Jesus, “are you the one or should we look for another?” Wow, the guy was there when the dove descended and the voice spoke. He had the sign from God that he was told to look for. Yet, there he is with doubt. Circumstances had changed fiercely. He was in prison, hated for his message and stance for righteousness. His beheading would soon be the price for a lewd dance.

There are others who were obedient to the call, walked in faith, and wondered if they had missed God somewhere. In our Americanized version of Christianity with modern heroes jetting around the country with multimillions income we have come to belief if you are a person of faith, you get a pass from trouble, doubt, fear, and questioning. Americanized Christianity is little more sometimes than religious capitalism. So, when we face trials and question where we are, we have no one to turn to because often we get the glib answer of the rote phrases of churchianity that mean nothing.

If this is the case, we are doomed to isolation and loneliness. This is really the root of the accusation against Christians that they are all hypocrites. A hypocrite is an actor, pretending to be someone they are not.

One of the principles that has to be ingrained in this new move or as one author put it, the Remnant Movement, has to be honesty. This generation is crying for transparency which is another way of saying honesty. Even though we call and desire transparency, there is a trust level that has to be attained before that can happen because betrayal is so prevalent.

If we are seeking to walk in faith, we must find a new way that reflects Jesus. It is not a matter of confessing till you get something. True faith confesses what has been revealed, not what you want to extract from God. Sometimes faith is a journey of darkness with little being revealed. Sometimes faith is trusting God for the next clue, the next flash of light on the path, the next glimmer of hope generated by the Spirit within. Even Jesus had to have angels come and minister to him at times.

This New Covenant walk is serious. Lives are at stake. Eternity is in the balance for many. Faith will have to be discovered in a way that reflects the new covenant. Real, Transparent, Trust in God!


Guest Blogger – Bill Lewis, Apostle and Lead Pastor of The Connection in Butler, Ohio

Are we overstimulated? Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and a multitude of other platforms are calling us. Add to the choices we make for social media our smartphones and email addresses. Robo calls are daily interrupting, some days it is incessant. My list of blocked calls is longer than my contact list. Still, they keep coming daily. Everyday I clean out the spam and junk mail from my email accounts. When I empty the trash for the emails, sometimes it is hundreds. Going to the mail box creates another pile of advertisements that add to the trash. We are under an assault.

Driving down the road, I watch for distracted drivers. If you pay close attention, you will see many with their phone to their ears while driving. Even more dangerous are those with their heads down engrossed in their phones. We are being blessed with communication and cursed with communication.

Sometimes when I am preaching, I see people surfing on their phones and it is not just the kids. Our attention span is being reduced to brief moments as we move on to something else. Visual stimulation has overcome the mind. Listening, paying attention, absorbing thoughts, contemplating, and meditation are fading from the majority. If you are amazed at the trend, it is staggering to realize the first iPhone was released in 2007. In a matter of a decade we have been transitioned to reliance on our devices.

Now, I like my devices. They are great aids and tools. I like the technology. However, as in any invention, there are good and bad uses. When anything begins to replace basic human interaction and decency, we have to step back and evaluate. Children are being babysat by devices. Children are inside, on devices, in front of the TV. Playing outside, using imagination, role playing are sadly lacking.

You may think this is a rant by an old guy. Maybe. But I use the technology and like it. But I see trends that concern me, particularly, the spiritual implications.

Looking at the life of Jesus, he constantly had to refresh himself with solitude. He would withdraw for meditation, prayer, heavenly instructions. He also withdrew for physical replenishment. There is a power in reflection and quiet. There, in the quiet, we often find the presence of God. We can hear. The cacophony of sound, motion, pictures are removed. The visual makes a change to the creation of God, the sound changes to the surf pounding or the wind whispering or the thunderclaps and light show of the heavens.

Are we overstimulated? I believe we are by the reactions prevalently displayed in the anger, taunting, and bullying of our current society which is being stimulated by video games, media reporting, video clips, cyber responses of hatred and racism. We need peace, quiet, reflection, and allow our hearts and minds to start healing.

Take time. Reflect. Listen. God is speaking to those who have ears to hear.

The Kingdom Differences

In the Kingdom of God there are many things happening all at the same time. Some things are generic to all nations. Other events and happenings are specifically targeted for a region or individual nation. God knows what each area needs and fine tunes the Kingdom events and Spirit movements to suit each region and move them forward in His purposes and plan. It is amazing to watch and see. More amazing to be involved in many of the different nations and actually be aware of and have a part to play in the differences. 

For example, when I first went to the nation of Kazakhstan the main topics were the church that Jesus was building and the gifts of the Spirit. The main ministry other than teaching was prophesying. Now, when I go to Kazakhstan the topics are leadership, the Kingdom, and the Church – especially house churches. The three main groups I work with have moved forward, matured, grown, and are hungry for the next step as they move into the Kingdom realm and its expansion through soul winning and church planting.

In March of 2020 I will be in Vietnam. This will be my first visit to that nation and so I have begun to read up on some of its history and especially the role of the Church in the nation – both currently and historically. I am told by those planning the trip that I will be holding a school on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and especially the prophetic. And, that this is the first time ever that this will have been taught to the specific group that is inviting me. So, pioneer work of an apostle. And, in a different place and space than those I work with in Kazakhstan. The Kingdom is amazing that way.

Here is North America …we are seeing the slow death of the traditional Church as younger people no longer find these churches meaningful. But, we are seeing the growth of new churches that are being planted and that target the younger generations. And, we see many traditional born again believers forming or joining house churches where the format of the assembly is flexible and fellowship and prayer are the major focuses. And the mega churches that often have seen major growth through younger people and families transferring in have seen their growth slowing down as smaller church plants become attractive and more suited to the lifestyle of young people and their desire for family type fellowship and relationships.

It is no longer business as usual. Things are changing quickly in the Kingdom. Change is targeted and specific. Different in each place. But the one common feature of all the changes is the return to the primary focus of the Church – seeking and saving the lost. This is what Jesus came to do (Luke 19:10) and what He commanded His Church to do as we “go into all the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). When this becomes the focus of all true believers then we will see the pace of change increase and the growth of the Church reach epic Bible proportions. 

I believe we are on the verge of something so amazing and awesome…

Reading Is So Important

As believers we should be reading on a regular basis, in fact, daily. Of course, we should be reading our Bible but there is so much other material that we also should be reading and digesting.

A mentor many years ago taught me that believers are readers. And, he emphasized even more strongly that leaders are readers, I totally agree. 

When reading your Bible remember that there is no test when you get to Heaven. So, all the details like how many sons Noah had and their names are simply not that important. The overall purpose of the story has some merit. But, most importantly – and often forgotten – is that the Bible is simply one of a number of tools to help us to come to know God the Father better. So, we read it not just for information. We read it for insight into the character and nature of the God we follow, worship, and serve. 

However, we also need to be reading books written by Christians. A word of warning as you choose what to read – there is a lot of fluff out there. Books with little to no substance. Books that are more self-help than Christian. Books that are launching or jumping on a current bandwagon. Books that are heretical. So choose wisely what you read as you want to invest your time and money wisely. It is often good to ask a mature leader what he would recommend and stick with something that has been tried and tested and proved useful and beneficial. Remember, just because the author is well known or has a large church does not make the substance of the book worthwhile.

Add to this the fact that, as believers, we should be reading some of the more popular books that those who are not believers are reading. Find out what the culture and society is focusing on. I manage to do this by simply walking through bookstores in airports. And, even the Relay stores that stock snacks and drinks also have a small selection of books available. These books are what those who travel are reading and usually a good indication of what the general public is reading. Yes, I know, they are usually not written by Christians but so what? Keep in touch with your world and culture by reading some of what others are digesting and enjoying.

It is also good to read the classics like Moby Dick, The Phantom of the Opera, David Copperfield… these help to ground us in the wider world of literature and remind us where things have come from. They give us literary context which is always good. 

Reading a book a week is not difficult. My mentor taught me that you simply take the number of chapters in any given book and divide that by seven. This shows you how many chapters a day you need to read to finish an average book in a week. Of course, that might mean less television, less idle (non-productive) chatter, less time to gossip with others, and a cell phone on ‘do not disturb.’ But, believe me, it is worth it. 

In my busy life I have chosen to stop watching television and talking to family or others at 10:00p. This gives me 90 minutes to go to my study and read. It has made an amazing difference in my life. And, I read widely. My Bible reading is a morning event. Early, before others wake and phone starts to rink and ding. However, just before bed and after reading my book a week (really two a week) I read a chapter of the book of Proverbs and usually three chapters of the psalms. Great way to relax and refocus before bed.

So, believers and leaders are readers. Reading is so important in the life of a Christian. Summer is a good time to add reading to your somewhat slower good weather daily schedule.