Thursday, November 25, 2010

Random Verse


On a hike this morning

in the hills above Jacksonville

I saw a fallen leaf shaped like a bowl

filled with rainwater

becoming a reflecting mirror of my face

as I sought the face of God.


Like toy soldiers marching,

wound up but winding down, waiting

for the Hand to twist again,

to set in motion

this march towards forever.


Walking up an unmarked trail of snow

the first of the year

white, unprinted by foot, claw or hoof

circling around the mountain

in a loop

untouched, pure,

atop a canvas of frozen paint.

As I circumnavigate this path

I come back around to my first tracks

cutting the white on the trek up

and meeting myself in print form.

I stop and ask, “Am I a different man?” on this way back down,

than the one who walked this way up.

It is strange to meet your tracks once again,

footprints as reminders

of who one is, both up and down.

Snow is honest.



enemy of knowing.

Comprehending the God of all

a goal he never posed.

To be, to walk, to sense, to touch together

is the knowing.

These never designed for the comprehender

but for the lover.

Lying side by side

unspoken words

having no comprehension,

yet together.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"2011 - A Year of Revealed Change and Transition" by Garris Elkins

2011 will be a year of change and transition within the Church. This change and transition has already taken place in the spiritual realm. In the coming year these changes will become visible within the Church in greater measure. I am seeing four areas of change and transition that will take place in the upcoming year.


In the last several decades a broadened understanding has taken place regarding the ministry of the Apostle and Prophet. Movements have risen up around these two gifts. A critical linkage will develop in 2011 between Apostle and Prophet with the Evangelist for a three-cord, Spirit-empowered harvest of souls. The government of the harvest will be released. There will be a visible inclusiveness between these three gifts to prepare the Church for a supernatural harvest.


For 2011 many will make a great discovery - in midst of their failures God will show up to bless them in spite of these visible and obvious failures. There will be a revival of blessing in unlikely and unsuspecting places. A Prodigal blessing and feast is being planned and released for 2011.

When we stand in the middle of the debris fields of failure that many are experiencing, and when God comes unexpectedly with supernatural provision and blessing, that moment of mercy will produce a depth of humility, repentance and worship, that no successful faith-formula can ever provide.

Our songs of repentance amidst our failures, sung under the blessing of God, will release a deeper understanding of the mercy heart of God.


Recently, a counselor friend of mine spoke to a leader who was burned out. The counselor told the leader to stop studying, stop having daily devotions, stop making plans and simply learn to rest in God's presence. None of these things the leader was asked to stop doing were wrong. They are all part of a healthy believer's life. But in the case of this particular leader, things had gotten unhealthy. The spiritual disciplines of his life had become the places from which he had tried to draw Life. An orderly life had replaced Jesus as the giver of Life. My counselor friend wanted this leader to break the rules of religious productivity in order to come back to the simplicity of faith in Jesus.

God is breaking man-made rules of productivity that tell us doing more is holy. God desires that we lay down the deception of trying to prove our worth to God through religious duty. Productivity is the language of slaves. Inheritance is the language of God's children.

In 2011 God will ask his people to move into the deeper revelation of friendship that Jesus promised His disciples. In John 15 Jesus told these newly-defined friends that a master does not confide in slaves. Slaves are not receivers of revelation – only friends are. Slaves work from a list of duties provided by a slave master. Each day the predictable drudgery of the slave's list produces a defeated heart in the slave. God wants his friends to hear his voice. Some have mentally moved back into the slave quarters of the past and now God is calling them back into friendship and into the fresh daily revelation that comes from living in the dwelling place of his presence.


In prayer I saw an image of a large magnifying glass being held over Chicago and the surrounding communities. As a focused beam of light passed through the magnifying lens and focused its beam on this region, I heard the words, “A burn is coming.”

The great Chicago fire of 1871 burned for three days destroying the city and killing hundreds. In 2011 the coming burn of God will revive the Chicago region and bring thousands to new life in Christ. Hands raised in worship during “normal” worship services will be set on fire. People will literally feel the heat of God's presence in their bodies. A prominent mega-church will experience a work of Pentecost that will challenge the understanding of some. The wise will wait to judge what is taking place. God will raise up an unlikely spokesman from among these burning ones to champion what God is doing.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Stepping Into An Uncharted Future" by Garris Elkins

Sociologists and cultural pollsters don't work with initial revelation - they study the history of past events. Those who leave a mark in this life walk into a developing history that is uncharted and undefined. Our heroes of faith are those who stepped into places where the rest of us feared to tread. They had no road signs of research to calm their fears along the unmapped path of faith.

Developing history does not always have a sociological model to work within. Those who leave a mark in our lives did not first poll for statistics to determine their next step. They simply stepped towards the Voice. I wonder what would happen today if you and I did not weigh the cost of the journey or draw from the opinions of others to determine our buy-in to God's agenda? Maybe the personal and cultural transformation we are praying for would actually take place in this God-pleasing environment of raw faith because we stepped towards something not yet seen.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Reflecting Leaf" by Garris Elkins

On a hike this morning

in the hills above Jacksonville

I saw a fallen leaf shaped like a bowl

filled with rainwater

becoming a reflecting mirror of my face

as I sought the face of God.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Poised" by Garris Elkins

Poised and suspended

now attached to what is known, familiar, doable.

A release is coming,

a falling

and a rising up to meet me,

of something new and undefined.

Needing, even wanting, to see the release,

trembling like a water droplet hanging on

clinging amidst the vibration of what is coming

the trembling before the drop

a shaking me free to fall.

Ready to exchange one form for another

that is why it is called a droplet

the drop had to let

the release come in faith and anticipation

of the dropping to become a splash

a change of structure

still wet.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"A Field of Debris" by Garris Elkins

I am in middle of God's blessing. This is one of the most significant seasons of God's presence and provision in my life - the most I have experienced in the last 30 years. All of this is taking place in the middle of a financial and emotional recession in our nation. In contrast to the beauty of what God is doing I have found myself arriving in this time having thought and spoken some very faithless words. These words are like a debris field after a plane crash. Body parts and pieces of wreckage are littering the landscape of my thoughts. I regret them. I want them to go away. I have confessed and denounced them. I am raking up the debris of my unrighteous thoughts and words and putting them into the spiritual trash bags of repentance and sending them to the dump.

My reasons for speaking these kinds of faithless words in the first place are as foolish as anyones faulty reasoning. The faithless words and thoughts birthed in the pain and sorrow of my life were reaching up drawing down a dark lexicon from the shelf of my vocabulary and saying things to me and into my life. Human failure is the fertilizer that gives our belief in a lie the ability to grow.

The blessing confused me at first because the debris field of faithless words yelled back at me that nothing good could come amidst my doubts and fears. These faithless words began to tell me that I had set in motion an irretrievable set of negative outcomes. Doom was ahead. Give up and run! Maybe that is why God sometimes sends blessing amidst our failures - he knows some of us would not hang around if God did not show up.

This week, as I prayed with a group of fellow believers, the Lord spoke to me and said, "I will not be held captive by your failure to understand my love." When He said these words I realized what He was saying. "You failed in your words and thoughts, but that is not the end of the story. There is more and the "more" is always about increasing your understanding of Me as your Loving Father."

I began to realize in a deeper way that I was dealing with a loving Father who uses a different measure for love than I do. When I think it is all over, because I have failed in some formulated concept of His love using the broken math of my old nature, God shows up and reveals His heart to me. God formulates His response to us based on His unchanging nature and His perfect love. He does this in a loving partnership with us. The old nature can only see the faithless words producing a crop of death. This is the language of slaves. Since Jesus said we are no longer slaves, but now His friends, we are drawn into something very different. The old nature cannot see hope and mercy. The old nature sees only enslavement. Words spoken without love and faith do produce horrible things, but God has to be bigger than my dwarfed concept of Him and my slavish responses to the pains of life. He has to be bigger and kinder than my words.

God wants to show up in the middle of our failed attempts at this faith-life, in the middle of our self-created debris fields of personal failure, and bless us. The blessing of God, not the failure of people, is where the heart of God is revealed most powerfully. These are the places where we feel we deserve nothing but the ugly fruit of our words and deeds. God has a different and more wonderful plan.

The greater discovery in times of failure is not that we come to realize our brokenness. The greater discovery is that in midst of our human failure God shows up to bless us in spite of ourselves. When we stand in the middle of the debris field we created, and then the blessing comes, that moment of undeserved love produces a depth of humility and height of praise that no successful faith-formula can ever provide.