Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The month of February has been a good one. Nothing absolutely over the top in terms of confrontations or the miraculous, but we’ve been receiving breakthrough after breakthrough and progressing very steadily from glory to glory. In the last few weeks we have experienced a sudden forward shift in many of the neighborhoods that we have been in for the last year. Households and individuals that had stonewalled us to this point suddenly opened wide. Instead of standing at the door and knocking we got invited in to share Jesus and bring the Kingdom.

What’s funny is that when I normally talk about the stuff going on in neighborhoods, people think we are working some pet program that just applies to our church. What they fail to recognize is that we are simply participating in a worldwide move of God! All over the world, the same general pattern is erupting in cities, neighborhoods and townships with astounding results. The dead are being raised, the sick are being healed, the Gospel is being preached and churches are being planted. This isn’t being done by (to borrow from Larry Randolph) “The Evangelist from Los Angeles” or some “Colossal Apostle” but rather normal, everyday saints that have learned of the power of God they possess.


1. Firstly, the saints are mobilized by the Holy Spirit to GO and PREACH the Gospel with signs and wonders in their villages, neighborhoods and cities.

2. Secondly, the saints plant house churches of new believers in every village (neighborhood) that they go to. These house churches are strategic outposts for the Kingdom of God where the Gospel overtakes the powers of darkness in a neighborhood/village and new believers are discipled into maturity.

3. Thirdly, as village after village falls to the overwhelming power of the Gospel, communities and cities are impacted as maturing believers spread the message to their family, (Acts 16:31) friends and loved ones, reproducing great commission house fellowships wherever they go.

You’ve already heard me talk of how we go into neighborhoods and go door to door preaching “The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand”. Getting people saved, healed and delivered is the easy part. In all of the neighborhoods we are in, we have one or more families that have received a healing, miracle, salvation or deliverance. The next step is to gather all of the new believers in a neighborhood and start a house fellowship which takes the new believers into maturity. Getting all of the new believers together in one place and getting a house meeting going has proven to be the hardest and most difficult step so far. Once we get the new believers into a meeting and the meetings stabilize in terms of scheduling, the believers seem to mature very quickly. Already we have several individuals and families moving in the power of God themselves, healing the sick and leading their friends and family to the Lord.

Over the last several months there have been several neighborhoods where we have struggled to get a meeting going. In these neighborhoods, we still visit individual households every week or so, but getting all of the new believers together had been hindered. We had been turned down, left out in the rain, stood up and rejected time and time again. And by people that had received healings, miracles and salvations! So we decided to do what most Western Christians won’t do.

We pressed in.

We stepped up our prayer, asking God to melt hearts and transform lives. We stepped up our fasting, doing without food to seek first the Kingdom. We kept scheduling meetings, only to have them be cancelled again and again. We kept going back to the neighborhoods, even when we didn’t want to. We kept “doing the stuff” even when we didn’t feel like it. And you know what? We got a breakthrough. Doors opened, hearts melted and families gave their lives to Jesus.

Most Western Christians feel like if it’s not easy, then it’s not God. They feel that if it doesn’t happen instantly, then they should abandon the cause. Most Western Christians are very uncomfortable if everything isn’t sanitized and all neat and tidy. Most Western Christians wilt at the first sign of discomfort. But real life in the Kingdom isn’t that way. Things are messy. Bad things happen and good people often have to press through all hell to get a hold of Heaven. David Hogan says that Americans are looking for a problem-free utopia and calling that the Kingdom of God. But that’s not what the Lord promised us at all. The things that He promised were things like persecutions and tribulations, not a tidy little existence devoid of abject circumstances.

The Kingdom of God is righteousness. But righteousness isn’t a counterculture where unrighteous people aren’t even let through the door. The righteousness of God invades the darkest perversion and triumphs. Translation: when you take the Kingdom, you are assaulted with every kind of wickedness and evil you can imagine. Uncleanness, immorality, promiscuity and addictions of every kind flourish in the ripest harvest fields.

The Kingdom of God is a matter of peace. But peace isn’t the cessation of all conflict. Peace is a supernatural calm in the midst of a storm that is trying to kill you! The peace of God is manifested where there is no peace, not in a tranquil environment with orchestral music playing softly in the background. Many Christians mistake quiet for peace. But you can be in turmoil on the inside, even when you are quiet on the outside. Sitting in a quiet sanctuary, isolated from the din of humanity is one thing, but trying to get a hold of the peace of God while a family literally fights it out in front of you is another. But when you see the peace of God descend in a hellhole of confusion, anger and insanity, then you know the true definition of peace.

The Kingdom of God is a matter of joy. But true, Kingdom joy is not found in perfected circumstances. The joy that comes from the Spirit is an inexplicable happiness that comes from the Spirit, in spite of your circumstances. It’s manifested when bills are past due, when everyone hates you and is saying terrible things about you and when the Doctors say there is nothing more than they can do. When you can laugh in the face of the enemies’ best assault and actually derive strength from the onslaught, you know you have found the joy of the Lord that is your strength.

Indeed, the Kingdom of Darkness is DARK. But the LIGHT of the Gospel far surpasses it. Our Gospel light shines brightest in the darkest places. Most Christians don’t ever venture where there is no light and consequently they do not know of the light they possess. To them I say,

"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of Jehovah has risen on you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but Jehovah shall rise on you, and His glory shall be seen on you. And the nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawning." Isaiah 60:1-3

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Kindness of God

This week, we got front row seats to the kindness of God in action. God moved Heaven and Earth so send one of our outreach teams to a gentleman in distress at the right place and the right time. It was so awesome to watch. This was in addition to some miracle reports and salvations that are becoming normal around here. The Lord raised a young man literally off his death bed as a direct result of a prayer uttered hundreds of miles away. We just received the report this week, but it happened several months ago.

One of the believers in a neighborhood we are in had a very sick family member; a nephew. He had been in the hospital for several weeks and had numerous complications, each one worse than the other. By the time we were talking with his aunt, he was on his death bed in Ohio. It sounds like he went in for a relatively routine procedure and there were complications. There were infections, followed by further infections and ultimately an infection in his blood. The doctors were losing him and the family was preparing for the worst. The aunt was really pressing into God in faith and asked us to pray with her for her nephew’s life. She honestly believed that if we prayed, God would answer us. The Lord had healed her of several major illnesses through our prayers, so you can understand why. Anyway, we prayed with her that day and after we left she called her family, told them that “those people” had prayed for her nephew and told them to watch God move on his behalf.

One week later this young man was dancing with family members at a wedding!

It is so cool to watch God set up “Divine Appointments” with unbelievers. It’s something that we as spirit filled believers take for granted, but this weekend we got to watch an unbeliever’s wonder and amazement at the experience.

The Story starts on Friday afternoon where an unbelieving Iranian man was in total distress at his marriage problems. He was so upset that he started calling out to God, even calling on the name of Jesus saying, “If You are real, show yourself to me!” In desperation, he called a local Baptist Pastor and asked for help. They set something up for that evening, but the Pastor called and rescheduled an appointment for Saturday morning around 9am. All that night, even late into the night, the desperate man continued crying out to God for help and for answers.

Several miles away, one of our outreach team members was about to crawl into bed when he had a simple decision to make: get up early and go preach the Gospel on Saturday morning, or sleep in and let others gather the harvest in his stead. He chose wisely, and set his alarm to wake him in the morning, deciding to preach the Gospel instead of sleep in. He got up and went to church to meet the others already gathered for prayer. During prayer, the Lord spoke to me to send a team to a neighborhood that we haven’t been in for a few weeks. After prayer, we went out to the neighborhood, the same neighborhood where our desperate Iranian friend was still crying out to God.

9am came and went and the Baptist Pastor didn’t show or even call to let him know what was going on. Our desperate friend started to despair, figuring that maybe God didn’t care about him or his situation. Barely an hour later, our team showed up at his door, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. He was flabbergasted and repeatedly asked them, “How did you know to come to me?” After a couple words of knowledge, he gladly submitted to this King who knew everything about Him and would send His servants to answer his call of desperation. The Kindness of God won him over. Something so simple and so basic, being at the right place at the right time in response to a desperate man’s plea, convinced him that indeed, Jesus was King and Lord and that moment, he gave his life to Jesus.

The next day, he wandered into our Sunday service and begged for an answer to his question, “How did they know to come to me?” I had the privilege of explaining that God’s sheep know His voice and God had simply sent us to his doorstep. He wept as I explained to Him the goodness of God and how God would hear his simple prayer for help and send strangers to bring him Jesus. He gratefully worshipped God with us; he attentively listened to the message and even came forward at the end of the service, asking for physical healing. He had severe pain in his back for over 15 years and Jesus took it away in a moment. He just sat there, basking in the presence of God, thanking God for His kindness.

After the service, he ran up to me and asked me if I would speak to his wife about his experience over the last 24 hours. He got her on the phone and through broken English started describing to her what had happened, the team coming to his home in response to his prayer, the Kingdom of God and his physical healing that morning. He then handed the phone to me and asked me to, and I quote, “Tell her about this Kingdom of God”. It was my privilege to describe to his wife what Jesus had done for him and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to her. I could tell she was weeping on the end of the line as she heard what God had done for her husband. I said, “He’s good, isn’t He?” “Oh yes! I just can’t believe that God would do all of these things for my husband!” I told her that the Lord would do all of those things and more for her and her entire household. “Really?!” she asked. “Absolutely” I replied.

This week, we’ll go and baptize them and begin a house church in their home.

God’s cool, isn’t He?