Friends

The Watch - A Prayer For Our Economy

Last night I had the honor of worshipping and praying for Charlotte and our Nation with radical revivalists. There were several leaders of churches all across Charlotte as we worshipped with the anointed Josh Baldwin at All Nations Church. Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda hosted and the presence of God was so powerful there were moments I couldn't stand. After the night was over I had a chance to fellowship with many of the leaders and listen as Mahesh and Bonnie shared stories of revival that would just make you smile. Mahesh felt like last night was a landing strip for revival in Charlotte. I agree!

Anytime the church deep and wide gathers in unity regardless of denomination to worship and invite the Holy Spirit to move, He moves!

The pastors were asked to pray for specific areas of life in the US. I was given the privilege of praying for our economy. This was my prayer...

Prayer for Our Economy

Father I thank you that your love is perfect. That you are the answer to every question that aches within the heart of humanity

I hold our nations economy up to You. I declare the abundance of heaven.

I break ties with the lie that says there is only so much; that for one to be blessed another must be cursed. I break the lie over America that suggests “resources are limited.”

I break the poverty welfare spirit off of America.

I break off entitlement, I repent for entitlement. I break off the victimization of a welfare gospel.

I thank you that heaven is not about “just enough,” that heaven is not a limited resource. I thank you that heaven is an infinite revelation of Your love.

We thank you for your love, we praise you for your love, we say yes to your love, we give you glory for your love…

Father I declare a heavenly outpouring, a revelation of all that is You. I thank you that “everything You have is ours” I declare America a home to that truth.

I proclaim a church of sons and daughters who are rich in their inheritance, rich in their revelation of Fathers LOVE. I declare the US to be nation filled to all the fullness of You.

I declare a Great awakening to your love.

And over our economy I ask for a Holy Spirit limitless generosity. I pray for a church that gives so we can give more. A church that is so sure in Fathers love that the nation must follow.

Come fill us, heart, soul, mind, and strength with the generosity of love.

I declare the US a nation that gives so we can give more.

Father I pray for our leaders to have an encounter with Wisdom, an encounter with the mind and life changing presence of Wisdom.  I pray that like Solomon our leaders would chose wisdom, that they would choose your presence.

I declare over our nation a covenant with Wisdom.

I release innovation in the areas of Science & Technology. I speak to new dreams, creative ways to establish heaven’s economy here on earth and here in America. I declare an open heaven over businesses small and large, an open heaven over our economy.

I break ties with the dysfunction of need. You are a good Father and you are the answer to every spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial need that aches within the heart of America.

I pray that we would see from heaven, and we declare tonight

Would you repeat after me,

We are believing for America:

  • Jobs and better jobs
  • Raises and bonuses
  • Benefits
  • Sales and commissions
  • Favorable Settlements
  • Estates and inheritances
  • Interests and income
  • Gifts and surprises
  • Finding money
  • Debts paid off
  • Debts paid off
  • Personally, Nationally, Debts paid off
  • Expenses decrease
  • Blessings and increase.

In Jesus name.

The Oscillating God

Excerpt taken from Let’s Go Find This Kingdom Come – Chapter Six –

For the month of JUNE this chapter, in it’s entirety, will be online at the link above. There are some references to the chapter in this blog, so if you missed last weeks, you may want to go read the chapter.

The Oscillating God

I lay in my homemade sleeping bag, a queen size sheet that Karen had halved and sown at the bottom.  I stared at the ceiling perspiring from every pore, soaking my thin sheet. My head lie on a rolled t-shirt, a backpackers pillow. The stifling heat caused my breathing to come in ragged gasps. Every minute or so I would squeeze my eyes shut to clear the pooled sweat gathering at the corners. Both the sweat and the mosquito netting that hung from an exposed beam just above my head meant my vision was a constant blur.

I lie in my cocoon, trying not to move, and observed the mosquitoes trapped inside the netting. I realized that even with mosquitoes the old adage is true: “the proverbial grass is always greener on the other side”. The handful of mosquitoes that shared my living space were lethargically trying to escape while a thousand others outside the netting were frantic to get in. Of course, my little roommates were only trying to leave because they were too drunk to continue the feast and were seeking a safe place to sleep it off.

I was thankful for my shabby netting - it seemed to work well enough, at least regarding the mosquitoes. I doubted it would stop the rats that ran across the exposed beams over my head. Fortunately, they seemed to have some place to go and were less interested in me than I in them.  

The Philippines is the hottest, most humid place I have ever been in my life. New Orleans in July doesn’t hold a candle to its suffocating heat. It was unworldly, unrelenting. I was 8 days into a 10-day whirlwind worship mission trip with a handful of saints. There were five of us in total lying on the second floor of the two story tin shack located on the side of a Filipino volcano.  That’s right, in case the natural heat wasn’t enough; we were on the side of an active volcano. We were beyond exhausted but none of us were sleeping. Our insomnia wasn’t the result of the disagreeable plywood floor, the ravenous mosquitoes, or the indisposed rats; it was because of the damned beautiful oscillating fan.

That fan was the center of our universe; it was the most important thing. It was life and death.

While I lay there, in my delirium, my mind began to wander. I didn’t have Google. So my thoughts went un-checked. And because of this, I found myself loving one fella while hating another.

I imagined that there were two people involved in inventing the fan…

I imagine they were probably a father and son team. The father, lets say his name was Hank, spent years in the heat, probably in Mississippi or something. He grew up with a vision that would eventually change the world. He spent, lets say… forty-seven years, bringing his vision to life. And finally the day came when his dream was realized - the electric fan. He had done it! This beautifully stunning device made the world a better place…

As the wind caressed my skin, I loved Hank…

But then Hank got old, as every fella does in the end. When it was time for him to retire, he could have passed the company on to his brilliant manager, Edward. Instead he decided to trust his wayward son, Doug. “Son,” he said, “everything I have is yours…”

And that’s who I found myself hating. Doug. I hated him with everything in me…

You see, Doug didn’t go out and make the fan better. He didn’t have any bright ideas at all. In fact, Doug left Mississippi and moved up to Alaska where he plugged in his fathers brilliant creation and thought to himself, “who would want all this wind blowing at them all of the time?” With this utterly stupid thought in his head and while sipping on magic bean juice, Doug came up with the worst idea in the history of ideas: the oscillating fan…

As I lie there, staring at the ceiling, my emotions where as fickle as the wind. One moment I wanted to hug Hank, who was well in His grave by now. The next moment I wanted to find Doug and reunite him with his dad. The fan was my delight and my torment.

For the brief seconds the moving air brushed my clammy skin I knew to the core of my being that God was good and He loved me. “Oh God.” I blissfully sighed. And then the stupid fan moved on and I began to doubt, “Oh God!?” I cried out again, this time in desperation.

I don’t know about you, but much of my life I have served an oscillating God much like that fan. You know, the fella with the fickle nature; my delight one day, my torture the next. The guy that has sunshine and ponies in one hand and a Skill saw in the other. I have determined His nature through the lens of my needs. When life was kind, with demands met, health great, and friendships deep and true, I’d sigh blissfully “Oh God.”

But life isn’t always kind. Skill saws happen. And when the valley of the shadow of death is upon us, that’s when we must know to our core that our Fathers nature doesn’t change. He isn’t fickle. He hasn’t gotten tired of us, or had second thoughts about us. He hasn’t turned His heart from us; He’s not judging us, or condemning us. He is still the same always-good Love He has always been.

I am growing in my revelation regarding my Fathers heart toward me, “Only goodness and love all the days of my life,” that’s what I say. I say it when life is a “mountaintop” and I am learning to say it when life is a “valley.”

My Father doesn't oscillate! He is never my torture; He is only my delight! His love is steadfast and relentless. His love is pure and beautiful. His love pursues me, enraptures me, consumes me. His love is the beginning, the end, the before, the after, and everything in between. Oh yeah, in case I haven’t mentioned it yet, His love is always good.

Its called faith...

To continue reading click HERE. This chapter will available for the month of June.

Fathers and Sons - Culture of Honor

Karen and I were flying into Redding CA on a small twenty something seat airplane. It’s the largest flying vehicle into Redding. Redding is the home of Bethel church and for Karen and I, it has become a city on a hill; a place where the hopes and dreams of radical believing vagabonds’ have found a home. Bill Johnson is the father there…

“I think that is Danny and Sheri Silk sitting behind us.” Karen whispered into my ear. As I started to turn around to confirm, she grabbed my arm, “Don’t be obvious!”

So I casually bent down to check the bag stowed under my seat. Then I casually turned my head. Danny Silk looked me straight in the eyes, smiled, and then went back to playing what appeared to be one of those bubble games on his iPhone.

“Yep, its them.” I whispered back to my wife, smiling. “And he likes those bubble games.” This was awesome, I like those bubble games too!

“Should I introduce us?” I asked.

“No, they have probably traveled all day and are too tired for talking.” She said. That’s crazy, I thought. I had traveled all day as well and I wasn’t too tired to talk.

I mentioned this to Karen. And then I told her it probably wasn’t possible for me to just sit and ignore the Silks for the next hour. Karen and I have been married 16 years, so she knew I was telling the truth. She smiled and said, “OK.”

I haven’t met Bono yet. So I am not going to say that meeting Danny and Sheri Silk was like meeting Bono. But I imagine it would be close.

Both Danny and Bono have had influence; I discovered God in the melody and rhythm of Joshua Tree, and I was forever changed. And while Bono helped me define my musical DNA, Danny helped put vernacular to the spiritual. Through Danny’s book “Culture of Honor” and his teaching, I've discovered in greater measure my heavenly Fathers heart, and I am forever changed.

Danny is a spiritual father. I don’t know if he would call me a spiritual son but that’s OK. Dads can chose to father just as sons can choose to be fathered. One doesn’t determine the other. I chose to allow Danny’s book and message to father me. I chose to be a son.

A father is someone who releases identity. I actually know a lot about this. My own dad is top five in world history. And my heavenly Father is the cats meow!

Danny’s book “Culture of Honor” did this. It revealed identity. Danny put vernacular to my journey. More than that, his writing helped to settle the insecurity experienced on the journey. You see, Danny revealed my heavenly Father in a new way and the better you know your heavenly Father, the surer you are as His son.

Danny and Sheri were flying in from Hawaii. They gave no impression that they were too tired to talk though we didn’t harass them long. We didn’t want to overwhelm them with affection, nor did we want them going to bed later conversing about “those crazy people on the plane.”

Plus, Danny was one of the key speakers for the Bethel conference/school we had travelled so far to attend. In fact, the next morning he found and offered us his reserved seats on the front row. He even remembered our names, which is something I cant imagine Bono doing.

We had several more chances to talk with Danny before the week was up. I was able to tell him how his book impacted me. I was able to hear his heart for rising up sons who become fathers.

Karen and I returned home determined to no longer be vagabonds and set free to live as a city on a hill. We came home as a son and daughter who are becoming sure in our heavenly Fathers love – as a son and daughter who are aiming at top five all time father and mother.

If you haven’t read “Culture of Honor” yet, you should.

And Before the Coffee is Fully Brewed...

Anthony & Mary Keith Skinner recently visited the Clark's. It was like streams in the desert. I hadn't realize how lonely I’ve felt for the past several years until I was sitting across the table with a new friend. I have some amazing friends… some of them are in Dallas and Jackson and Seattle… Eye contact and shared coffee is priceless...

You know what was really refreshing about the Skinners visit? They didn’t visit us for them. That's not to say we weren't good company, or that we didn’t bless the Skinners, I mean, we are pretty amazing. But my point is, they didn’t come for them; they came for us. They walked through the door and started loving us before the coffee was fully brewed. People who have lived immersed in the Fathers love, well, they love. They can’t help it. You see; they’ve become love.

Karen and I have begun to live this way as well. We are daily becoming convinced in our Fathers always-good love. And so, we too are becoming love. You know what the best thing is about becoming love? It's not hard to love, you don’t have to try. All you have to do is walk through the door and before the coffee is fully brewed… well...

Jesus was love. It wasn’t hard for Him either. He didn’t have to try. All He had to do was keep His eyes on His Dad. His Dad was Love too.

We went to hear the Skinners sing at The Queen City Church the Sunday night before they headed home. It was beautiful, sweet, and powerful. It was all those things for several reasons. First, as my friend Andy Squyres says, Anthony's voice is a million bucks. So there was that. But it was also beautiful, sweet, and powerful for a profoundly simpler reason; the Skinners weren’t there for themselves, they were there for all of us.

Mid-strum, Anthony muted his strings and paused for a moment, “I used to try and love God...” my new friend said from the stage. He was sitting on a stool, Mary Keith next to him. “...but now I just let Him love me.”

And before the coffee was fully brewed…

You want to know how a person becomes love; you want to know how a person can live for another? It has nothing to do with trying…

Primal

"To love God is to love His voice." Mark Batterson - Primal

I started reading Mark Batterson's new book "Primal" last week. Its Christmas and life has been busy, challenging and wonderful all at the same time. Honestly, regardless of Christmas, that statement applies. I am in a season where God is very close but hearing His voice has been difficult.

One of my hero's, Bill Johnson, was on a conference call with about a hundred of us the other day. He was talking about hearing and discerning Gods voice. The voice of God has been my one pursuit this year. However else God has revealed Himself to me, via the Bible, nature, my beautiful Karen, my kids or friends, I am most interested in His personal and intimate voice - the one of a kind voice He has for me, the voice only my heart can hear.

So I asked Bill during the conference call - via instant message - how to hear God in a season where He is close but His voice seems distant. Bills response was simple. "Go back to the things you did when you first heard his voice." Essentially what Bill was saying is, go back to the wonder of your earlier times with God, the places you first fell in love and start there.

Primal is a book that encourages both the brand new believer and the battle scared saint to always remember their first love - the voice of God. Marks passion is that we would awe at the wonder of God; that we would see not just with the natural eye but from heavens perspective. And mostly, Mark seeks to release a deeper revelation regarding Gods beautiful voice - how to hear it, how to know it, how to fall in love with it again.

I would most definitely recommended the book!

Merry Christmas all and may you hear Gods good and intimate one of a kind voice for you in this coming year!