Sunday, March 31, 2019

Make a Way

Somewhere along the way, God deposited supernatural gifts in your life that he will use to accomplish his purpose and calling for your life. These gifts were part of what God has used to bring you to this place. 
These supernatural gifts are often deposited in us through the laying on of hands. We read about this impartation in the second letter Paul wrote to Timothy. Timothy had become so busy with life and ministry that he allowed the intensity of those gifts to diminish from a flame to a smoldering ember. Both of Paul’s letters to Timothy contain warnings about the dimming condition of his gifts. Paul told Timothy to fan the embers into a flame once again. 
The longer we do life and ministry, the easier it becomes for us to operate in our own strength. We develop skill sets. We get good at what we do. Subtly, we can begin to exchange the power of God for human ability. This becomes especially dangerous when we are transitioning into a new season and crossing into unexplored territory. 
God placed gifts in your life to do what he has called you to do; you cannot fulfill your calling without exercising them. Like Paul instructed Timothy, you need to stir up your gifts so they are white-hot with potential to accomplish the spiritual passage that lies before you. 

(An excerpt from the book, A Good Place)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Slow Down

Someone put this sign in front of their home encouraging people to slow down as they transit our neighborhood. When I saw the sign, I thought of more than kids being harmed by careless drivers. I thought of the heated cultural climate in which we currently live. We can drive too fast through life with the feet of our opinion pressing hard against the accelerator of our perceived right to speak our mind at all times even when the mind we speak may not always be the mind of Christ. 

Today, slow down the speeding feedback and knee-jerk responses your emotions want to release when you see a culture in turmoil. Our attitudes and the way we live can run over people all in the name of being right. Slowing down and thinking about what we share will help us see the people on the street of our lives and keep us from running them over with our opinion or our “right” to do as we please. We need to drive our lives with the measured response of wisdom and, as a result, the neighborhood of our culture will be a safer place to live.

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Wind is Coming

The liftoff you need to get your promise airborne will happen in a most unusual way. You thought you needed to build more runway to get your promise off the ground. You have faithfully been at work hoping the project will have enough distance to attain the right speed and finally take flight. It’s time to stop building more runway. Your assignment now is to wait for the wind.                                                                                                                        

A fresh wind of God ‘s Spirit is coming and when it arrives it will create the supernatural lift required to get your promise airborne and take flight. The wing of the promise only needs the correct wind speed, not more runway to become airborne. God’s breath will blow on your plans and lift them up into flight without a natural takeoff roll. Some will say what is about to happen is impossible. Nothing is impossible when the wind of the Spirit arrives.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Badge of Faith

I remember the first day I became a cop. I was sworn in and handed a badge. My badge number was 387. Whenever I enforced the law, I served under the authority of that badge. Both complaints and commendations referenced my badge number. It identified me along with my name in the hundreds of police reports I filed during my years of service. My badge was worn on the left side of my chest over my heart.

Yesterday, I was visiting the post office in the small town where I live. An officer from our local Sheriff’s department was walking through the parking lot. I called out and initiated a conversation. Officers in uniform never know who or what they will encounter in a citizen contact. My desire as a former cop was simply to say thanks and offer an encouraging word.  The interaction was consistent with the reputation of the excellent agency the officer represented. Later that day, I sent an online word of commendation for the officer’s professionalism and kindness regarding our interaction.

I thought about those of us who follow Jesus Christ. We are called to be enforcers of God’s heart. His authority backs up our actions if our actions are in line with His heart. We are called to enforce love, truth, and honor. Those three enforcement actions can take place in a casual conversation in a local coffee shop or a spiritually violent confrontation where our response will determine whether we live or die in our witness for the Lord.

Today, I hope someone writes up a commendation for the love, truth, and honor you represented by your words and actions. I also hope the enemy growls in protest and yells, “Give me your badge number!” when you interrupt his deception and he files a complaint about the uncompromising character and integrity you carry that interfered with his dark plans. God has your badge number and so does the enemy. Serve and protect the people you meet under the authority of God’s love.  That's what you signed up for. Stay safe out there.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Return of Prodigal Dreams

Jan and I take a daily walk together. Normally, we walk at mid-morning after our writing schedule is finished, but on this particular morning, we had to be on the road early so we walked just after sunrise. I’ve walked past the home in the photo hundreds of time but because our walks are normally during daylight hours, I never saw the light inside the cupola depicted in the photo. We live in an older neighborhood with few streetlights so that little light must be visible for a great distance during the night hours.

For a few days, I wondered why I felt drawn to take the photo. This morning, the Lord said, “Prodigal dreams are returning home.” When I think of the word “prodigal” I typically think of returning children or loved ones, never a dream. The longer I thought about the Lord's words the more they began to make sense.

Some of you have dreams you abandoned because you did not understand the timing or content of the dream or something took place in your personal life that stalled and distanced the fulfillment of the dream. When those things were taking place you had a dream, but not the heart of the Father. A work more important than the dream itself had not yet taken place in your heart. As a result, the dream wandered away and you moved on with life thinking the dream was lost forever. 

In the intervening years, as the dream wandered, your heart has changed. A healing and maturing have taken place. You now have the heart of the Father. That heart is the light that now sits atop your life – a cupola of hope welcoming the dream back home. When you see the dream at a distance coming home run to embrace its return with joy. Prepare the equivalent of the fatted calf. It is time to celebrate. You now have the heart to carry the dream through all its future stages of development and bring it to the fulfillment of its original intent.  With God and with hope, nothing is impossible, even the return of a prodigal dream.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

My New Best Friend

On November 27, 2017, a best friend of mine died. Abby was my Australian Shepherd. She lived just a few days shy of 15 years. To say I was devastated at her passing would be an understatement. I cannot remember grieving like that in all my life. A few weeks ago, the same breeder from whom we purchased Abby let me know a new litter would be coming this month. We will bring our new puppy home around the first of June. 

Loss is like a dull ache without borders. It bleeds over into all areas of our lives and sets off tearful emotions at the oddest of times.  Loss needs time to heal and process. I am ready. The healing of Abby's loss is taking place with the thought of a new Aussie. I want a girl. Unless something changes her name will be Lady.

Our new dog won’t be Abby, but she will be what I need in this season of my life, just like Abby was for all those years when she was part of our lives. With God, He knows just the right time to fill a strangely quiet home with the sounds of a new life. God is good and so are the creatures He gives to us who become our faithful companions walking with us along the path of life.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Finding Purpose in the Last Lap of Life

I have the privilege and the honor of speaking in a variety of churches and conference settings. While I value those public venues what I enjoy the most is getting to sit in a living room or on a stool and speak as a spiritual father to a team who carry a shared mission. These settings are where Q&A takes place and prophetic insight freely flows revealing doorways into the future of a personal life, the mission of a faith community or the development of a product. 

At my stage in life, I have come to realize a spiritual father or mother does not need to know all the technical specifics of a product launch or each detail of a ministry vision in order to be a voice of value. What is needed in these more intimate settings is the revelation of the heart of God. That revelation has the power to transform a life, a product launch or a ministry vision into something more where people are able to discover the fullness of their calling.

Becoming older in the Spirit is a good and hopefully anticipated experience. Steward your maturing journey well and you will be surprised how God will use you when you become an elder in His Kingdom. We are part of an ever-expanding mission. Believing that an inevitable decline is our lot in life is an alignment with a deceiving spirit. Turn away from that lie and ask God to reveal to you the good things He has planned for your life as you enter the last lap of your life-race. That revelation will change everything.


Every life-transition will reveal our insecurities. One of the gifts of transition is exposure. God sheds light on us so he can heal us and prepare us for what is coming.                                                                                                    

Transitions are like sandpaper—they sand away our sense of security and reveal where we have placed our trust. The deeper we walk into a life change, the harder the transitional sandpaper works. We begin to see our true self, hidden beneath schedules, success, or sin.                                                                                                                                

God loves us so much. He wants the next phase of our lives to be healthier than the one we are now living. God will dig deeper to reveal the layers of personal brokenness we have used as deflective shields against the healing work of his Spirit.                                                                                                                                                                         

The sanding away of these personal illusions is part of the preparation for what is to come. Don’t resist it. Offer God all of you so that in the end he will have shaped you more and more into the image of his Son. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Breaching Realms

I watched a video of a whale breaching the realm of water and entering the realm of air just before falling back into the ocean to continue his journey. Flying fish also breach the realm of water, as do Manta rays. When I trout fish, I know the fishing will be good when I see a trout breach the surface of a mountain stream.

Breaching is not limited to creatures that live underwater, Paul breached the limits of this realm and soared into the realm of Heaven. In II Corinthians 12:4 Paul described his experience, “I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.” Paul was caught up. He didn’t go there on his own initiative. These are God-appointed experiences, not something we schedule because we want them.

The purpose of spiritual breaching is to provide a revelation that does not exist in this realm. Some believers do not think this breaching is possible today. Still, others feel anyone who talks of such things should be viewed as suspect bordering on fanaticism. That would place Paul and most of the early Church in the same suspicious group.

Imagine how our lives would change if we lived in the expectation that something supernatural could take place at any moment. Embracing this expectant lifestyle will keep us looking up at the surface of this life realizing something exists above us - something that “cannot be expressed in words.” This kind of faith believes when the time is right, God will be faithful to catch us up in the Spirit to see what is described in this realm as impossible and unbelievable. All things are possible for those who believe - even breaching the separation between realms. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

A Thing of Beauty

Jan and I have been taking communion together every day for the last 20 years. It is a powerful place of connection and union we share with each other and with the Lord. Our daughter, Anna, brought this small brass goblet back from Israel several years ago as a gift. We use it every time we serve communion to each other. 

Today after eating the bread and drinking the wine, I held the goblet in my hand and noticed the stem was polished bright from repeated use. I thought how God wants every place of worship in our lives to become so beautifully polished through repeated use that it becomes obvious to all who would look at our life. 

Like the stem of the goblet, we cannot wear out a place of worship from repeated use. These worn places take on a unique beauty as they age shining brighter and brighter with each repeated use and in time, become a thing of beauty. 

Defeating a Critical Spirit

Have you noticed unhealthy critics rarely have original content to present? Their self-appointed mission in life is very narrow, birthed from the limited resource pool of their personal experience and worldview. 

A critic’s mission in life is to confront, challenge and undermine what they do not understand. If you have critics assailing your life, don’t be drawn into their verbal soccer game and attempt to defend the goal of your opinion. Your defense is the food that feeds a hungry critic. In order to remain emotionally and spiritually healthy, it is important to understand these critical assaults are not personal.  They come from an unresolved place of brokenness in the heart of your critic. 

Your assignment when under a critical assault is to keep your heart from growing hard. As difficult as it may sound, pray for your critics and bless them.  Fight and resist cynicism at all costs. It is waiting at the door of your will wanting to pollute your heart and silence the Kingdom impact of your voice by turning its sound into something cold and dismissive. When that happens the critic has won no matter how valid your opinion might have been.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Walking Through Mountains

There are times when navigating a mountain-sized obstacle is not about removing the obstacle but choosing to walk through its fear-based imposition. At some point in the passage those who choose to walk at this level of faith will turn around and see the mountain is still there but now it has a human-shaped portal cut through its hindering slopes. These acts of faith will become the biographic portals of a personal testimony that will encourage following generations to keep moving forward and not allow a mountain of fear to deter them from the call of God upon their life.

Walking Through a Rough Patch of Life

For almost 20 years I have hiked the section of a trail depicted in this photo. It has never been rutted like this in all those years. A combination of weather events, poor trail maintenance and just life in the wild produced these deep ruts. The beginning and the end of the trail are smooth and easy to hike. It was just this part of the trail that was damaged and challenging to negotiate.

The photo of the trail depicts the realities of life. Some sections are smooth and appear to be well maintained. Other sections are rutted with sorrow, personal failure or the poor choices made by other people that can affect us in a negative way. These ruts are not the definition of the entirety of our life. They are only seasons of time we need to walk through to get to the smooth part of the journey that is always present if we choose to keep moving forward with hope in our heart. 

If you are going through a rough patch of life it is important to understand this is not your forever trail or some form of punishment. It is simply part of life. Life washes out. It has ruts and potholes.  When you come to a rough patch, hold on to your faith and most importantly hold on to your love for God and people. Love will always win and your trail will eventually smooth out. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Echo of Our Testimony

I awoke in the middle of the night and heard in my spirit, the word "echo." I wondered why the Lord awakened me and had me focus on that single word. When I got up this morning, He directed me to something I wrote in my book, The Sound of Reformation, which I posted below. 

Every sound our voice makes will create a spiritual echo - a testimony. Unfortunately, not all the testimonies we share are positive. Some of these echoes can actually come from a kingdom in opposition to God. This happens when our heart and our voice are not under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

We are in a moment of cultural transition. This transition is deeper than the talking news heads and social commenters realize. It is important for each of us to check the content and quality of our words because those words are releasing a testimony to our friends, family and the larger culture. 

God has a plan to make the Earth an echo chamber - a repeating testimony of His goodness. The Church is the mouthpiece for that testimony. In this time of cultural transition, it is important that the sound of our collective voice creates the right sound. The world is listening.

The following excerpt is from chapter four, The Sound of Reformation:


"These new, Spirit-indwelled disciples came to the Day of Pentecost in obedience to the marching orders Jesus had given them. On that day, a new sound was released: “Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven…” (Acts 2:2).

The word translated as sound here is ēchos: it means sound or noise (and is also the root of the English word “echo”). The same word was used in Luke 4 to describe the sound of a testimony created by the ministry of Jesus when a demon-possessed man was set free. It was also used in Hebrews 12 to describe the sound of a ram’s horn trumpeting the Israelites to attention to hear the word of the Lord. 

That root word ēchos also forms the verb, ēchéō, which means to sound or roar and is found in I Corinthians 13:1 where Paul is defining love to the Corinthians: “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

The Church has been called to make the sound of love that will echo through each sphere of cultural influence."

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Nature of a Spirit-Empowered Upgrade

There are times in our lives when an upgrade from God will break apart our status quo and require that we redesign our lives to carry a new level of empowerment. These seasons of fracture are not the end. They are the beginning of something new.

Last weekend, I was in Salem, Oregon speaking.  Passing through the hotel lobby I picked up a  copy of the USA Today newspaper and read an article about the new and redesigned 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. The engine in the prototype is so powerful it is compromising the chassis of the vehicle creating structural distortion of the aluminum frame. The problem stems from the new engine. The 8-cylinder engine develops between 900 to 1,000 horsepower. The old chassis could not carry the increased power of the new engine. Chevrolet had to take the Corvette back to the drawing board to create a new chassis structure to house the new engine.

There are times when the structure of our lives and our current Kingdom assignment might breakdown under the influence of a fresh outpouring of the Spirit. When the Spirit begins to move, and what is known and familiar to us begins to crack and fall apart don't despair. Instead, begin to worship because only in worship will you be able to see what God is doing. You are being prepared for a new adventure with the Holy Spirit that requires a new level of power and anointing. This is the nature of a spiritual upgrade. 

A new chassis for a new season is being developed for your life. As you yield to the work of God’s Spirit in both your character and your calling, you will be ready to carry a new level of empowerment. When this upgrade is finished, under God’s power, nothing will be able to stand in your way. Your past will be left in the smoke of the burning tires of your faith as you accelerate into the future.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Sponsored Content

In social media, there is something called “sponsored content”. Sponsored content is advertisement space a person or business purchases to push a product or a video repeatedly before a select audience. It is an attraction device. I have come to not like sponsored content because of the clutter it creates. It clutters my social media feed with clickbait ads that make me not trust the product being offered. At times these ads can be just an innocent attempt to honestly push a product, but for the most part, the abundance and repetition of this form of advertising are annoying. 

On my Yahoo news feed, the word “sponsored” appears in small print just below the larger bold title and accompanying photograph. We can miss the sponsored ad announcement if we are not looking. The title and the image catch our attention and we dive in unaware. Most of these flashy titles are nothing more than a multipage “ad” that never gets to the point. As you click page after page you rarely get to the core of the promised content – you simply subject yourself to more ads for a wide variety of products, which was the goal of the sponsored content in the first place. The initial ad was crafted based on data created about you and your buying habits and past activity on the platform.

As it is with clever advertising so it is with life. We need to be able to discern the difference between something legit and something sponsored that uses our relationship to promote an agenda or a way of thinking. 

Who or what is framing your spiritual worldview and your response to life? If it's not the Scripture, the Spirit and a community of faith you are in trouble because someone or something else has created a form of spiritual clickbait that is drawing you into a pre-packaged worldview and response to life. It is subtle and many times it remains unnoticed until we find our selves in a place of jeopardy.

You are a consumer, both spiritually and commercially. The enemy of your soul knows how you live your life and even some things you think he could not know. He is prowling about looking for those places in our lives where a lack of wisdom and discernment has created a portal of spiritual naivety.  He has prepared just the right clickbait to draw you into a subtle presentation of a lie that will ring with enough truth that you will feel OK clicking its first attraction and step deeper and deeper into a place of well-crafted deception.  

There is a solution to cleaning up the newsfeed of your life. Ask God for help. He will be faithful to help you navigate through al the clutter. God's wisdom and discernment will let you know when you are being offered sponsored content.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Living Open and Free

Normally, when I travel to speak somewhere my host will reserve a room fo me in a comfortable hotel. I really appreciate that consideration. This trip is no exception. The beautiful hotel and its wonderful amenities allow me to be fresh and rested during my visit. 

After driving several hours to get to my destination, I finally arrived at the hotel and checked into my room. The first thing I do when I enter a new hotel room is to pray over the room and the hotel environment. As soon as my prayer ended, I went to the sink to get a drink of water. I grabbed a drinking glass and put it under the faucet and turned on the water. I held the glass under the water flow for several moments and wondered why my hand was getting wet and the glass was not filling. Then I realized my mistake. The glass was covered by a plastic security film. I laughed, took off the cover and drank a couple of glasses of refreshing water and began to unpack my luggage.

After the incident with the glass of water, I began to reflect on how our minds can be like that thin layer of plastic wrap. Our unrenewed thinking can prohibit the arrival of the good things God wants us to receive. We can experience a wounding in a relationship and try to cover the pain with a vow to never again let anyone have access to our hearts. We can allow a religious spirit of control to cover our mind and prevent us from entertaining a new aspect of God or we can let other people determine what comes into our minds and continue to be spoon-fed the predetermined agenda and will of another person or group. No matter what the covering might be when God attempts to pour a new measure of His presence and wisdom into our life that much-needed revelation can pour out into the sink of our lives if we are not an open and willing receptacle. 

Today, examine your life to see if it resembles the covered glass in the photo. God wants to renew our minds. The wrappers of fear, doubt and unbelief must be removed before we can be filled with freedom. Don't fear this openness to God. His only plan is to pour a refreshing drink of His presence into your life. He wants to fill you to a new and unimaginable capacity. 

Take off the plastic wrapping and God's love will begin to pour into your life. The infilling of His love will be evidence that your freedom has arrived. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Rebranding Our Faith

Back in the 1980s, I remember reading some facts about Christian television. The profiled demographic of the average watcher was a female who lived in the South and was in her mid 50’s. While people from a differing demographic did watch Christian television, the pool of support the broadcasters drew from came primarily from an aging demographic of like-minded people. The perimeter of their ministry did not have sufficient access points to draw in those people who would channel surf past their sometimes garish and outdated presentations. Like Christian television or any outreach of the Church, we need to be willing to rebrand our image as the Spirit leads so that we can say, as Paul said, “I have become all things to all men, so that I may, by all means, save some” (I Corinthians 9:22). 

A business or ministry must occasionally rebrand itself if it is to remain relevant to a customer base or to the unredeemed culture it desires to reach. Rebranding is a process that creates a new look and feel for something that is no longer working at its full potential. The goal of rebranding is to influence a person's perception of a product or service. In matters of faith,  it helps people who are pursuing an encounter with God to not be hindered in that pursuit by an outdated delivery system. When we work with God in this process we will recreate our image to bring us up to date and relevant to the needs of the people we desire to reach.

A spiritually healthy rebranding will never compromise the essentials of our faith or the integrity of our message in an attempt to gain a new image or expand our audience base. Rebranding is simply about adapting and upgrading the vehicle that transports our message. It’s not about changing the core content of the message. 

It is too easy to shut the door to something new, untested and maybe even a bit uncomfortable. We can assume our limited demographic is all we are called to reach when God has another plan.

Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Moving the content of our message from Jerusalem to the remotest parts of the earth will require that we be willing to rebrand the vehicle of our message for each new leg of the journey. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

A Place Beyond

We have a lot of interesting comments, quips, and quotes that we toss around in the community of faith. Some of these are well-meaning, but not always fully true.  We can comment, quip and quote ourselves into strange corners if we take everything we hear or read at face value without seeing it through the broader lens of Scripture and history.

John Wesley said, “God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” While that is an admirable-sounding comment and we should all pray more, it is thankfully not accurate. Groups of faithful intercessors have been created and labored under the burden of that misconception. Paul said in Ephesians 3:20, Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Some of the greatest works God does are not answers to our prayers but a merciful expression of His heart in a place beyond the content of our most ardent prayers - beyond what we “might ask or think."

Another famous phrase tossed around is “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Again, Paul helps us see a deeper spiritual reality. In describing the challenges he experienced in Asia, Paul said, “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1: 8-9)

This “beyond our ability to endure” seems to be the place where miracles of deliverance and supernatural intervention have appeared throughout the history of the Church. The most profound and awe-inspiring things God does will exceed our ability to imagine or produce. This is the resurrection component of our faith. God raises people and situations that look dead and abandoned and gives them new life and another chance.

I don’t write this to rag on anyone. I have been guilty of parroting half-truths in my own ignorance and I'm sure it will happen again somewhere in the future. God is larger than our quips, comments, and familiar quotes. Because He is bigger than we can imagine we need to be willing to challenge and adjust the smallness of our current revelation.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Thunder of God's Truth is Coming

A great confusion of the enemy and his message is beginning to take place. In the coming days, bizarre and insane-sounding agendas will be exposed and dismantled in the public square. This confusion will take place at a deeper level where the influence of a deluding spirit has worked undetected for generations. 

This confusion will begin to unravel the bonds of deception present within every worldview, no matter how strong and entrenched those worldviews may appear. God is no respecter of persons or agendas, nor does He have favorites. He unravels all forms of deception because He loves all people.

This is a moment in our history similar to the time when Israel felt abandoned by God because the Ark was no longer in their camp. They mourned its absence. In the absence of God’s presence, they began to worship false gods.

Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you want to return to the Lord with all your hearts, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Turn your hearts to the Lord and obey him alone; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.” So the Israelites got rid of their images of Baal and Ashtoreth and worshiped only the Lord” (I Samuel 7: 3-4).

The nation of Israel gathered at Mizpah to fast and confess their sins. The Philistines heard about the gathering and planned an assault. Mobilizing their army, they advanced on the Israelites. Hearing the Philistines were coming to do battle, the people became afraid. Samuel told the Israelites to continue praying to the Lord as he offered a sacrifice.

Right when it seemed all hope was lost and fear was mounting, the Lord intervened.

Just as Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines arrived to attack Israel. But the Lord spoke with a mighty voice of thunder from heaven that day, and the Philistines were thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them. The men of Israel chased them from Mizpah to a place below Beth-car, slaughtering them all along the way” (I Samuel 7:10-11).
The Lord did not confuse the Philistines. It was the manifestation of His presence as a mighty thunder from Heaven that created the confusion.  Truth struck at the heart of the Philistine battle plan and dismantled its strategy. It was the deafening sound of truth carried by God's voice that created the confusion. The enemy did not know what to do when their plan of attack began to fall apart. The confusion allowed Israel to pursue and defeat a powerful foe.
We are living in a similar time. The Church has been called to live a life of absolute loyalty and reverence to God, a life motivated by obedience and worship. Anything less will be a compromise with evil. 
The people held captive by deception are not our enemy. This is an important distinction to make because the enemy wants us to see the faces of those held captive under a spirit of deception as our enemy, not the deceiver himself or the spirits who do his bidding. This misstep will keep us battling in a lesser realm of conflict where no victory is possible. 
It is critical once the confusion begins to take place that we make sure we are moving and speaking under the authority of love, not retribution, payback or succumbing to a lynch mob mentality. Some of those who are under the influence of an evil agenda will wake up when the confusion begins and cry out to God for help.
In that time of confusion, those who minister under a mandate from Heaven will speak the truth in love, not parrot a political party line or allow their voice to be molded by fear-based conversations around the latest hot-button cultural issue. If we are not speaking the truth in love, we need to stop what we are doing and disengage our voice from the cultural conversation. To continue on with an agenda other than the sound of love, we will end up doing more harm than good, all in the name of God.
As a follower of Jesus Christ we are not left, right or center on the political spectrum. We are from above. Our citizenship is in Heaven and so is the source of our message. Our passport to walk the Earth in the name of God has been issued from above – above petty and demeaning arguments, mocking statements and a never-ending series of gotcha pictures or comments taken out of context to prove our point. We are diplomats of another Kingdom. The solutions we bring to the table are not yet on the table. They will arrive in this realm as Kingdom solutions to complex issues that only love can solve. 

Today, reaffirm your spiritual passport. Reconfirm your identity and your place of ultimate allegiance. A message from above will not align with the demands of a religious or political spirit. Every alignment must be examined by love and this love will cause us to step away from assumption. We may be called to go and stand in places of opposition where our loyalty to a party line might be questioned. Speaking the truth in love is dangerous. It was so dangerous it got Jesus killed and most of His early followers. This happened while the Church was in its purest form and living in very corrupt times. 

The sound of God’s thunderous truth is coming. The enemy is about to enter a state of confusion because the truth of God will come and confuse his plan for our nation. Prepare your heart and God will prepare the way.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Your Life Will Become a Sign and a Wonder

I took the attached photo of an empty signpost while on a walk through the small town where Jan and I live. It looks like city workers planted the signpost in the ground with plans to attach a sign in the near future. After I walked past the bare signpost, I sensed a nudge from the Spirit to go back and capture its image knowing the Lord had something to say at a later date. Today is that later date.

Some of you have been planted in places, relationships and seasons of life you did not expect or see coming. At this time in your life, you look and feel like the solitary signpost in the photograph. You have a place, but not a message. A sign detailing why you have been put in this position is coming. The Lord is about to attach an explanatory sign to your life. Like the base of a signpost that needs time to become secure enough to support the weight of a sign, so has it been with you. God has been firming and seasoning your life in this place getting you ready to support the weight of your sign’s message once the Lord attaches the sign to your life.

When the Lord finally places His sign on your life it will all make sense – the reason for your placement, the why of this season of waiting, and the content of the message you will carry into the future. Your life will become a sign to others that God has been at work in your life all along even as people passed by and thought it odd that your life resembled a signpost without a sign. The sign upon your life will cause the doubters to wonder how it all happened. For the ones who believed in you and never gave up, your life will become yet another sign to celebrate the goodness and the faithfulness of God.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Warmth - The Environment of Success

I met a friend for breakfast at one of those establishments where the waitress calls everyone “honey” and the food is down home. The smells coming from the kitchen and the overall ambiance of the place let me know that a plate of biscuits and gravy was somewhere in my near future.

When the meal finally came it looked great. I went to adjust my plate and it felt cold to the touch. The food had been sucking up the coldness from the plate and what looked like a killer breakfast was growing more and more lukewarm with each passing minute – not something that helps gravy remain appetizing.

In college, I worked as a fry cook at the original Elmer’s restaurant in Portland, Oregon. In fact, Walt Elmer the founder of the restaurant chain hired me on the first day of school when I stopped by for breakfast and he offered me a job as I paid my bill. The rule at Elmer’s was to always serve a customer’s meal on a warm plate. This allowed the food to retain its heat to remain appealing and tasty.

The cold plate metaphor applies to a business, a church and our personality. We can have a great product, a unique place of fellowship or a life filled with valuable experiences to share with others, but if we serve these offerings with a cold demeanor it really doesn’t matter how great the product, the fellowship or the experience we have to offer, we probably won’t get repeat business. 

Rarely, will someone be honest enough to let us know the first time around that the presentation of what we offered was less than appealing. This speaks not only to our presentation it also applies to the overall environment where we do business and the attitude of those we work alongside in the execution of our shared mission. Everything in life must be evaluated to make sure that all the parts are working together to create a warm presentation that lets people know we have anticipated their needs. This is the heart of a servant. It is also the heart of the Father.

That day in the diner was an isolated event. I let them know about the problem. I am guessing the cook got to the kitchen late that morning and didn’t turn the grill on early enough to heat his workspace. In his rush, my plate was not up to a proper temperature for serving food. I have gone back to that restaurant many times after that one morning and the plates have always been warm and the food outstanding. They will always have my business because not only do they serve great food, but everything is warm from the waitress who calls me honey to the great food served on a warmed plate. They will also have my return business because they are willing to listen to their customer's input. 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Fresh Eyes of Faith

There are times when we ask God for a turnaround that He will simply spin us around 360 degrees and have us facing in the same direction. When God does this don’t get angry or give up. You are being given another chance to see what you did not see before the turnaround took place. The way forward you seek will be discovered when you look at your circumstance with the fresh eyes of faith. That is your turnaround.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Assigning Value To Prophetic Words

The majority of prophetic words are not specific to individuals or groups. Predictive words or words that are spoken to individuals with great detail and accuracy are surely in the mix, but they are rare. In the last 40 years, I have delivered these specific words with Spirit-directed revelation and accuracy, but to think this is a summit to pursue in prophetic ministry can put us on a slippery slope toward compromise, thinking we have to always produce this kind of prophetic ministry. This is especially dangerous when we develop an audience who demand this content each time we open our mouth or sit behind a keyboard. Distinct prophetic words are not the badge of a higher anointing of prophetic ministry, they are simply part of it.

Paul addressed prophecy in I Corinthians 14:3 and said it “strengthens others, encourages them and comforts them.” Prophecy appeals by design to a larger group of people just as the written Scripture when it is taught to people all around the world in different cultures every Sunday. Scripture is preached 2,000 years removed from its original audience and context yet it carries the same anointing today as the day it was first delivered. Dismissing a generic-sounding word of prophecy as something less makes as much sense as saying the book of Ephesians only applies to those who attended a church meeting in Ephesus during the first century and heard the original draft of Paul's epistle read for the first time.

Be slow to criticize or categorize what appears to be a generic word of prophecy as something less when compared to a specific word. Not much of New Covenant prophecy is specific. The majority is meant to encourage, exhort and comfort people. Some of the people who will come in contact with the words you prophesy will never meet you in this life. They will have read or heard something you released and their life will be impacted by the strength, comfort, and encouragement your words provided. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Prize of Pruning

Everything of significance that Jan and I are doing today grew from a place of pruning. In some cases, the pruning was severe and unwelcomed. At the start of the pruning process, the pain was so intense we wanted to avoid it at all costs, but we chose to remain. Today, those pruned places have brought forth the prized fruit of a lifetime of discipleship that we have come to cherish. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Creating Healthy Spiritual Environments

My teaching is not limited to public gatherings like a Sunday morning church service or a conference setting. Many times I am offered an itinerary where I am able to speak with the primary leadership team of a church or business. This is where I believe deeper traction and impact can take place because if I can influence leaders, I will be able to influence the group they serve.

This week, I had the opportunity to speak with the leadership team of a great church and several entrepreneurs from the business community who are part of their ministry. I was talking to them about the spiritual environment we create in a church or business by the quality of life we choose to live. Our private life will eventually have a public influence on the group we serve or the product we create.

I thought my talking points might be helpful. Here are the four points from my notes:

1. God prunes our lives and our ministries to define and in some cases, redefine our vision and life-mission. Pruning personnel or resources is never a joyful experience, but it is a critical step in our development. Pruning creates clarity and increased momentum.

2. Cutting corners in personal purity and excellence will change our spiritual shape in a negative way both individually and corporately. Compromise is an enemy of faith. Treat it like an unwelcome intruder.

3. Every upgrade in our mission, both personally and corporately, will require that something is left behind if we are going to move forward under the power of the Spirit. 

4. Upgrades do not upgrade our calling or our identity. Upgrades reposition us to see what we could not see about our life and calling before the upgrade took place.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Censored Voices

What would happen if all the communication platforms available to the Church were withdrawn? What if social media became a censored police state and media outlets no longer allowed people of faith to share their point of view? I have asked myself those “what if” questions. I think I have an answer. God would begin to move supernaturally on our behalf releasing revelation and manifestations of the Spirit we thought were only possible while those platforms were still available. God would be faithful to move the sound of our voice past those restrictions to a place of greater impact.

In our current context, some have come think we need the same platforms as the world in order for our message to be heard. Throughout biblical history, the only platform God needed to accomplish His will was an open and available heart, not a platform offered by the controlling political or religious spirit. We should not fear censorship neither should we give up and allow it to take place without a challenge. It is not the end of the road should it ever take place. It might actually be setting us up to experience a greater move of God than we first imagined.

Riding the Landslides of Life

A massive landslide took place last week on the Oregon coast. The landslide is almost a mile in length. It has displaced the coast highway downslope toward the ocean turning the highway into an impassible mass of crumbled asphalt and dirt. It looks like the remnants of a catastrophic earthquake. 

The strange thing about this landslide is the fact that it is still moving. Every hour it slides farther toward the ocean. The landslide was moving at two feet an hour during one 24-hour period. The destroyed roadway has cut off cities along the coast and will create a significant impact on the local economy and summer tourism.

What struck me was the fact that the landslide is still active and moving. These catastrophic events are not static. They can seem alive. So it is with the catastrophic events in our lives. When a loved one dies or divorce takes place or a friend betrays us these experiences can set off an emotional landslide. The landslides created by these broken relationships can come without warning and set in motion a slab of painful debris that keeps moving for many years.

As I looked at a picture of the devastation along the Oregon coast, I thought of some of you who are riding atop an emotional landslide. You are wondering if it will ever stop. Your life seems so uncertain and out of control. Something larger and more beautiful than the pain of this displacement is in play. What was planned for your destruction will be reversed. 

This painful movement will eventually come to an end and that will be your signal that the construction of a new roadway into your future is beginning. God has plans to remove the debris from your past and create a solid roadway on more stable ground. When He is done, you will be able to travel into the next season of your life with freedom, confidence, and security.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

A Loving Touch

I'm guessing I kiss or hug Jan at least 10 times a day. Our love involves a continuous intimate physical encounter. Jesus did not come as a vaporous spirit. He came to incarnate a physical representation of God's love. Don't settle for a stale and unfeeling form of love. Tomorrow may never come. Today, touch the ones you love. Express to them what you feel and do it with a touch. A  loving touch will continue to be felt long after you are gone.

The Vanishing Remnants of a Painful Season

I walked out into our front yard and saw the remnant of a major snowstorm that hit our area last week. The storm was so severe and impacting that the governor of Oregon declared parts of western Oregon a disaster area. Tens of thousands of people were left without power. Many still have no electricity. Roads were closed because of downed trees and power lines. For a time, Interstate 5, the major north-south freeway connecting the west coast was shut down. It was a mess. As I stood over the last sliver of evidence from that storm in bright warmth of a spring day, it looked small, insignificant and melting. Later in the day, it was completely gone. 

A storm of a relationship or an exhausting season of life can be like the snowstorm. It was not planned and struck your life leaving devastation in its wake.  The remains of the trauma are still around even though the initial storm has passed. The Lord wants to remind you that like the sliver of snow on my front lawn, under the power and warmth of God’s presence even the remnants of what was such a devastating experience will soon be gone.

The physical evidence of your painful season will become only a memory if God is allowed to lead you out of the destructive aftermath. You might be standing knee deep in the snow of a personal storm. You are cold and it feels like the power to sustain your life has been cut off. You need to know this storm was a season, not a life sentence. Spring is coming. Your spiritual climate will change in the coming days.

As you experience this change of seasons, God will be faithful to melt the remaining painful evidence left behind by the storm. There will soon come a day when, in the Spirit, you will stand over the last remaining remnant of your life-storm. It will be for you like it was for me standing over the last remnant of our storm. You will see the remnant melting before your eyes. On that day the Lord will say, “Spiritual spring has come. Your winter is over. I have removed the last remnant of your devastation. A new season has arrived.”

Monday, March 4, 2019

Crossing Life's Intersections

Every intersection of life has a word from the Lord in place that will function as a traffic signal. As you approach these intersections read the signals carefully and wisely. Some have sped through these intersections without wisdom and their assumptions have caused unnecessary collisions. As you approach your next intersection, take time to read and discern the signs God has in place. They were put there for your safety and the safety of those who are traveling with you.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Remembering Where We Were Going

Perhaps it's because I am writing this on Sunday evening knowing Monday is coming that I sense a somber, tender sorrow of sorts. Monday is that day when the routine of life is re-engaged, again. These routines become so circular and repetitive that we can forget where we were going. 

A dream can succumb to the demands of a routine. Relationships can become derailed and fall to the wayside because the routine demanded all our attention. A child can reach out to a parent who is physically present but emotionally distant thinking only about the routine. Routines must live in submission to the dream destination or we will lose our way.

Tonight, try to remember where you were going before the routine created its detour. When you go to bed tonight, kneel at your bedside and pray. Ask God to show you where you were going, but forget because the demands of your life-routine erased your dream map. When you awake tomorrow morning, take steps to engage the dream once again and you will rediscover where you were going. 


Life is a collection of journeys, not just a single trip. Each journey has a measure of faith assigned to it that we are to ask God to release. Without this measure of faith, we will process the journey only with natural sight and without assurance for those parts of the transition we cannot yet see. 
We have the tendency to over-focus on what is immediate and visible. Our myopic vision actually blurs our ability to see the lessons learned from past experiences. God uses those lessons to help us plan in the present a successful transition into the future. 
You may need to walk away—far enough away from what is before you so that you can gain a new perspective and see your life from a panoramic point of view. Has God ever failed you? Has he ever not provided a way for you in the past? It is time to see how faithful God has been in the past so that you don’t have fear about what is developing in your future. 

(An excerpt from the book, A Good Place.)

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Stepping Through

You might call it a doorway, a portal, a threshold, or an access point. In whatever way you choose to describe it – step through this narrowing point in your journey. God will not leave you hanging. He has been waiting for you to step forward so He could align your life with His promise. You are about to step onto the terrain of a new season. Don’t allow the regrets from your past to hinder this moment of expansion. This is your time to step forward. Don't look back! A wonderful future lies just ahead on the other side of this step of faith.

Experiencing the Heat of God's Presence

This morning, I sat down in my writing chair a bit earlier than normal. I had a direction for what I planned to write today, but then the Lord changed that direction.

As I sat in the early morning stillness, an image developed before me of wax figures. They appeared like the reproductions of famous people you would see in a wax museum. As I continued to watch the developing scene, I saw these figures walking along the streets of our cities and in the halls of the institutions in our culture. 

I saw the presence of the Lord enter the frame of the spiritual movie I was watching. The heat of His presence began to melt some of the people who stood in positions of cultural influence. These individuals occupied what appeared at first to be unapproachable positions of authority atop the 7 mountains of culture. The faces of these wax figures began to melt exposing the hidden persona behind the illusion of their image.  The wax figures were eventually reduced to nothing more than a puddle under the influence of God’s presence. I saw people stepping over these waxy remains and moving forward under the call of God.

God is about to surprise some of us regarding who and what will melt as His presence begins to move through our culture. We have carried many assumptions into this season of our history. God will melt our assumptions in the process. Prepare to be surprised at what will melt in the coming days. The heat of God’s presence is no respecter of persons.

“The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth” 
(Psalms 97:5).

Friday, March 1, 2019

You Are What You Drive - Really?

Years ago, I was on a long, cross-country flight across America. For the duration of the flight, I sat next to a film producer who created television ads for Nissan. As we talked about her assignment and how she creates ads, she made a comment, “You are what you drive.” She said that comment was the message of her current ad campaign. I was shocked by her statement. At the time, I was driving a car that gave lots of impressions, none of which I wanted to represent.

The logic of the producer is not just the bedrock of a slogan-driven advertising campaign it can even seep into the thinking of people of faith. God likes to shake up this way of thinking by bringing people and unusual manifestations of His Spirit into our lives to confront these foolish mindsets.

Think about Isaiah the prophet who was called to prophesy lying on his side for over a year or John the Baptist dressed in camel hair and eating meals of insects dipped in honey. On the Day of Pentecost, some observers thought the people under the influence of the Spirit were hitting the bottle a bit too early in the day. What about the Azusa Street Revival when the fire department was repeatedly called because flames of fire appeared on the roof where the meetings were taking place?

When we allow the culture or even the church culture to define what we think we need, we put ourselves in a place of jeopardy. It is the kind of jeopardy that distances us from the voice of God requiring another person or group to bring definition to our life. Once a created need is believed we will go into all kinds of debt to drive the image we think we lack. It can take the form of unreasonable financial debt, spiritual debt, relational debt or emotional debt. 

None of these forms of debt-bondage can ever accurately define us. We enter this life already defined by God. We entered this life as a completely loved and fully accepted child of God. We become vulnerable to manipulation when we forget the greatest debt in our life has already been paid by the One who knows us best. We have no other debt in this life except the debt of love.

I would like to introduce a new ad slogan – “You are what you believe.” If we believe that God is a good, merciful and loving Father, we will not be vulnerable to the presentation of a glossy ad campaign from the marketers in the world or sadly, at times, in the Church.