Month: October 2016

Prophet Ezekiel on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo (1476-1564) Credit: Wikipedia

My Prophetic Journey Part 5: When to share or not to share

[This is the fifth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] In previous installments of My Prophetic Journey I recounted how God answered my prayer to teach me lessons in the prophetic, starting with the first two lessons. The learning continues! Lesson 3 – When to share or not to share Even on a lighter note, timing is no joke – ask a comedian! But, seriously – timing is vital. When I first started to prophesy, God would give me a verse or short word at the beginning of a meeting. My blood pressure would go up, my heart would go into warp drive and I felt that if I did not share this word right now I would die. I’m sure many can relate. I had to learn patience! One time in particular God gave me a clear word, but I didn’t feel free to share it for several months. I felt like I was pregnant with a word and could not deliver it. Finally I …

Washington DC Credit: Jason OX4/Flickr/Creative Commons

How the spirit of Jezebel captures a nation

At the beginning of his vision of the end times recorded in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John provides messages to seven churches of Asia –Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. We know churches existed in these cities during John’s day and in some ways he seems to be addressing situations taking place when he wrote this book while banished on the island of Patmos. But the Book of Revelation was a prophetic vision of the end time — of future events that would culminate in the return of Christ. Because of this, many believe the warnings that John sent to the seven churches are also prophetic and reveal demonic attacks the end-times churches will face. One of these involves an attack by the Spirit of Jezebel. In chapter two, John describes a situation taking place in the church of Thyatira involving a woman called Jezebel. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so …

The trap is set, will you take the bait?

The trap of offense

“Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” – Michael Hyatt from ‘Why leaders can’t afford to be offended’’ The other day I did it again and took offense at a comment on Facebook. I chose to make it personal and kept going over it in my mind until my emotions got the better of me. I quickly typed in a comment to straighten that person out. Thankfully, before I hit the send button, I called my husband and shared my offense with him. He calmly advised me to let it go because it would not accomplish any great purpose and probably create more misunderstanding. Not what I wanted to hear! But, I did take his advice because I knew it was wisdom even though I was itching to press the send button. After calming down, I decided I really wanted to get on top of my emotional response to the offense. I was reminded of this verse in the Bible; “It is necessary that temptation come, but woe …

You are significant in God's eyes.

The power of Significance

Over a decade ago a woman spoke at our church and prophesied about God’s call on my life to preach the gospel. Up until then, I was fairly mediocre in my pursuit of God and my passion to serve Him. But that night, this woman spoke into areas and dreams of my life that I had never told anyone. I dreamed of preaching the gospel in fields and stadiums to thousands of people. At that time I don’t think I had even preached a sermon. Yet, I would find myself imagining that I was an evangelist like Rinehard Bonnke. I never told a soul about these dreams and I thought they were just foolish imaginations. I didn’t even know if preaching was something I even wanted to do. So when this woman prophesied that I had dreamed of hundreds and thousands and stadiums and that God was going to give this too me, I was stunned and overwhelmed. These ideas were not my crazy imagination, but had originated in the heart of God and were …

Is divorce a violent act? Credit: --christophe--/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does divorce impact a child’s spirituality?

One of God’s clearest denunciations of divorce is found in the book of Malachi. Speaking on behalf of God, the Prophet thunders: “For, I hate divorce.” (Malachi 2:16 NASV) Then God declares divorce an act of violence. “and him who covers his garment with wrong, (literally violence)” When the Lord says that I don’t believe He is describing the acrimony that often occurs between a man and woman when they divorce. The couple divorcing could still be friends, but the act of divorce itself is inherently violent. In the previous verses we discover the reason: 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. 15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. (Malachi 2:14-15 NIV) In …

Church in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland Credit: Glen Forde/Flickr/Creative Commons

How to Kill a Church, Part 1

In the modern world, we have a culture that is dying. Follow any election news and you know what I mean. Prosperous and democratic societies are severally stressed these days. If you follow political and social commentary, you know, we listen to intelligent comments from comedians. One comedian, Norm MacDonald, tried to get serious with another comedian who made fun of Christians. But really, we don’t get intelligent comments from comedians, we get entertainment. Sometimes the comedy is intelligent, but it’s only jokes to make us laugh. Many comedians are very good at what they do, but we should be concerned about what they don’t do. If there is a problem, it’s with us. There seems to be no interest in thinking, teaching, and learning to make things better. Someone told me recently; we have this amazing Internet so we can talk to anyone in the world, about anything, and solve any problem, but we send each other funny pictures of cats behaving badly. Entertainment rules; comedians sell us what we want to buy, and …

The Prophet Elijah in the wilderness being fed by crows after fleeing Jezebel by Washington Allston (1779 - 1845) Credit: Wikipedia

My Prophetic Journey Part 4: Motives

[This is the fourth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] In my previous article, I shared how God showed me that His love should be the foundation for my life and ministry, as “Lesson 1.” As I continued to look to Him for His lessons in the prophetic, the lessons impacting my life just kept getting better. When we leave it up to God to decide what we need to learn, it will be bound to be not what we want, but just what we need. Lesson 2 My next lesson was all about my motives. It started with me asking God for the next lesson, so I could prophesy better, and for an answer I got silence – nothing! I said to God, “Here I am,” and for quite some time I did not hear from God – not one word for anyone. It was embarrassing – it seemed everyone and their cousin’s dog were prophesying, but not me. I started to worry about what …

Chinese security guards (Baoan) hamming it up for a photographer. Credit: Ding Zhou/Fickr/Creative Commons

China’s insidious attack on the underground Church

The Chinese government has recently instituted an insidious attack on Christians in that country after distributing a survey to all teachers and parents. The communist party who has ruled China for decades is trying to crack down on the rapidly growing Christian population. The changes are being instituted by President Xi Jinping. Described as a fanatical Maoist, he is trying to consolidate the communist party’s control of China. In an interview with the Christian Post, Bob Fu who heads Christian Aid believes the real concern is that there are now more Christians in China than members of the communist party. There are two types of Christian churches in China. One group is controlled by the state through its State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA). These legal churches are required to register with one of three organizations such  as the Three-self Patriotic Movement. There are about 57,000 government-sanctioned churches (both Catholic and Protestant). The second group is the larger unregistered house church movement. It is difficult to nail down how many Christians China has due largely …

Credit: Jonathan Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does God Dance?

A Bible verse recently caught my attention: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy. He will be quiet in his love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NASV) The Hebrew word, ‘rejoice,’  means to “spin around under violent emotion.” The phrase “rejoice over you” literally means to “dance, skip, leap, and spin in joy.” So, the latter part of this verse is more accurately translated, “He will dance over you with singing.” I love the visualization that comes to my mind when I read this.  God is portrayed as a mighty warrior, singing and dancing over me with shouts of joy. It describes how a warrior must have felt in the Old Testament after winning a hard-fought battle and realizing the victory was his. I can envision power, authority and strength exuding from him as he steps into a victory dance. I imagine whooping, hollering, leaping, dancing and victory shouts. We see it today, as well. It’s not much …

Claudia Wells  Credit: Rcarvalloa/Wikipedia

How ‘Back to the Future’ actress Claudia Wells became a Christian

I was recently reading an article on Claudia Wells, 50, at News.com.au. For those not familiar with Claudia, she played the role of Jennifer Parker, Marty McFly’s girlfriend, in one of my favorite movies — Back to the Future. Starring Michael J. Fox, it was a blockbuster release in 1985. Fox played the role of Marty McFly who traveled back to his family’s past in a time machine cleverly disguised as a DeLorean sports car. Towards the end of the article, Claudia answered the question on what she would do if she could really travel back in time in a DeLorean. Claudia said: “I would go back in time to hangout with Jesus. I’d just hold his hand, look  in His eyes and just take Him in and have a good chat.” Claudia Wells is a Christian and if you go to her Facebook page you will see her feed filled with inspirational Biblical quotes. It took a bit of digging but I discovered an interview with Smashing Interviews Magazine on how Claudia became a Christian. She …

Credit: Jacques Holst/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dealing with Insecurity: The desperate need for bigger and better

Years ago I attended a church that had a family camp. Every summer the congregation would  pack up their bags, and live in a tent, trailer or rent a cabin for a week. It was along the shores of an algae-filled lake. The fellowship was the best part. But the push was on for God to move at the camp. And invariably at the end of every camp, the pastor would declare in the closing meeting that this was the best camp ever. There were some good camps. But there were others that were just alright. In fact, if the truth be told the first camp they held was the absolute best one. The Holy Spirit moved powerfully and people were still talking about those meetings ten years later. It is so easy to fall into the mindset that meetings have to be better, miracles more profound and the moving of the Holy Spirit greater. I do it with this website. I regularly check the readership stats to see how many people are visiting and …

Off to prophetic school Credit: Michael Fawcett/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 3: School Starts

[This is the third in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] Having wrestled with God’s call, and worked through some things involving God’s grace and work in my life as discussed in my last article, I was finally on board with God’s call into the prophetic. I read all the books and study notes that I could, and attended seminars on the prophetic. One day, either in a stroke of rare brilliance, or naivety, I came up with a plan. I bought myself a large hardcover blank notebook and said to God, Why don’t You teach me some prophetic lessons? A by-product of that would be learning to hear from God more, so that sounded great to me. God answered that prayer, and I began to fill the book with some tough lessons – be careful what you ask for! For a period of time God would deal with one thing (usually involving character and attitudes), and then would let that lesson become part of me. After …

The Muslim Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem's Temple Mount Credit: James Kirpatrick/Flickr/Creative Commons

When national leaders choose to believe a lie

The Nation of Israel and Jews have been part of the Middle East for thousands of years. One of the earliest non-Biblical references to Israel is found on the Merneptah Stele in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt. The stele, a 10 foot high (3 meters) granite stone monument, was discovered in 1896 during archaeological work on the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes Also called the Israel Stele, it is dated to the reign of the Egyptian king Merneptah (1213 BC – 1203 BC). It outlines his various military victories. The last three lines list his defeat of Canaan including Israel: “Israel is laid waste and his seed is not;” Yet despite this find and thousands of other archaeological discoveries, in a recent UN vote Egypt along with 23 other nations passed a motion that effectively denies any Israeli connection to Jerusalem’s temple mount and Western Wall (the Jewish Wailing Wall). This  motion declaring the Temple Mount a purely Muslim site was passed in a 24-6 vote by the United Nations Educational and Scientific and …

Credit: Chris Goldberg/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does this study confirm Proverbs 22:6?

In a report published in Psychological Science, researchers in a study associated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA have concluded a person’s home environment as a child has a profound affect on them over 60 years later. In this study, that has been ongoing for 78 years, researchers followed a group of people starting at adolescence into late life. It was a unique study as it required adding new team members to continue this multi-decade analysis. This particular aspect of the study started sixty years ago and involved 81 men, 50 whose family were connected with Harvard and 31 from an inner city area in Boston. During their early adolescent years, the selected members of the study group went through an in-depth interview, where earlier researchers gathered information on their home environment, relationship with their mom and dad and general family life. They also interviewed the parents. From this, the researchers created a profile of each person and a measurement of how nurturing their family life was. The research group interviewed these men throughout …

Tim Tebow Credit: Duane Schoon/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does Tim Tebow ‘expect’ to heal the sick?

ABC News has a fascinating article on a recent incident involving Tim Tebow. A former Heisman Trophy winner (2007), NFL quarterback and TV announcer, Tim Tebow, 29, is a born-again Christian. He is very vocal about his faith and has come under attack because of this. With no NFL prospects, Tim recently tried professional baseball and ended up in the New York Mets organization playing with the Scottsdale Scorpions. Remarkably on the first pitch on his first time at bat, Tim hit a home run. The feat was widely reported in the media. But recently Tim gained more press while playing a game in the Arizona Fall League. He was signing autographs after the game when a person in the crowd had a seizure. ABC News wrote: Brandon Berry, who was in the front row, dropped to the ground as his mouth began to foam and his body convulsed in what was later determined to be a seizure. The violent shaking stopped, and Berry went limp. Tebow seeing what had happened approached the group who …

The struggle to choose the right path. Credit: James Wheeler/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dealing with insecurity: the chronic second guesser

It is not so much I hate making decisions, it is that I hate the chronic second-guessing phase I invariably go through after I make one. My wife hates it as I wallow about the house griping and wondering if I made the right decision. I go through these incredible mind-games, analyzing and re-analyzing my decision. It is an endless barrage of what ifs. Often it is easier not to make a decision and sometimes it takes days, even weeks for me to make the simplest one. Over the years, I have gotten better at it. But still it is a work in progress. So what causes this indecisiveness and second guessing? In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells of a man going on a journey. While he was gone, he didn’t want his money sitting idle and asked his slaves to invest it. The owner expected a return on this money when he got back. All three were obviously trusted servants. With such money they could easily have walked away with the cash and never been …

Credit: Chris Chabot/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dealing with insecurity: Are you controlled by what other people think?

A few years back I worked on a newspaper, and I remember somebody had the gall to criticize it. I was so depressed over the next few days, I wanted to quit! This was during a time when God was dealing with a root of insecurity that controlled my life. He was speaking to me how my self image was wrapped up in what I did and what other people thought and not by who I was in Christ. Two days later, someone gave the paper a big compliment. I was elated. At that moment I was ready to work night and day on the publication. That’s when I got a tap on the shoulder. It was God. I felt the Lord say being euphoric when someone complimented me was no different than feeling depressed when they criticized. It is caused by a root of insecurity where you are dependent on what other people think to function. Insecurity is devastating for Christians. You suffer emotional trauma. Your life is a roller coaster– one moment you …

Wayne's redemption box

My Prophetic Journey Part 2: The Redemption Box

[This is the second in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] After discussing “The Call” in Part 1, I must mention the story of the redemption box, because the story of this journey would not be complete without it. Often in Scripture God teaches us deep spiritual lessons about His kingdom by comparing them to natural mundane things around us, as in Jesus’ parables. Another example would be when Moses stood before the burning bush, and God asked him, “What is that in your hand?” and used the shepherd’s staff to show Moses His power. One day God spoke to me and asked me, “What’s that box in your hand?” As a metal artist I love spending time in junkyards, looking for scrap metal to turn into art. I seem to have a particular penchant for old metal boxes, for no other reason than the challenge of restoring them and making them useful again. One day at one of my favorite junkyards I saw a future treasure, …

Propaganda painting of Adolph Hitler at the front (1942-43). Credit: James Vaughan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Was the world’s most evil man a false Christ that Jesus warned would appear in the end times?

24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24 NASV) In the days before His crucifixion, the disciples asked Jesus what signs they could expect to show the end times were upon them. Jesus warned of wars, famines and earthquakes. But the very first thing He mentioned was “false Christs and false prophets.” Jesus said people would show up claiming to be Christ (literally pseudochristos). They would be so deceptive that even the elect — the ones chosen by God — would be vulnerable to their influence. Wikipedia has compiled a list of people over the last 100 years who have claimed to be Jesus. It is by no means complete, but it includes some brilliant people such as an electrical engineer and even a former MI5 agents (England’s secret service). Some of the more notorious included David Koresh (1959-1993), who founded a religious group called Branch Davidian. He along with 75 followers died in a 1993 siege …

Baltimore protests Credit: Arish Azizzada/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does the Holy Spirit want to heal the racial divide?

When a young Black man, Mark Ross, found out his sister, 15, had just been killed in a car crash, he immediately wanted to go home and be with his family. Without a car, he talked a friend into making the drive from Indiana to Detroit, Michigan. It was 3 am when they left and the troubles started when they arrived in Ohio. Police pulled over their vehicle for speeding. Unfortunately, Mark’s friend who was driving had a suspended license and police arrested him and impounded the car. Ross was distraught. He was still a hundred miles from home and now had no way to get there. But then a white police officer, Ohio State patrolman Sgt David Robison showed up. In a Facebook post, Ross explained what happened next: “I broke down crying and he saw the sincerity of my cry. He reaches over and began praying over me and my family.” But there was still one unresolved issue. Ross had an outstanding warrant with Michigan Wayne County. When Robison contacted the sheriff’s office, …

London, England Credit: Nick Kenrick/Flickr/Creative Commons

Predict the Future with Heinrich’s Triangle

Is Christianity dying? In the future, will the religion of Jesus even exist? Well, yes and no. One critical writer did an excellent job of explaining why Christianity is dying in the USA. Many years ago I led a church planting effort in a small town. Every Sunday morning I would get up early, walk to the bus depot, and ride about 100 miles to a small town. Our lowest attendance was two other people, and two cats. That happened many times, but eventually the group grew until a resident pastor could move in. But I am sorry to say, after a few years, in that very small town, the decision was made to close the church down. Imagine; all that effort for nothing! Herbert William Heinrich is one of the great pioneers of workplace safety, and many of his ideas were expressed with number ratios. He could predict your future with the numbers in his triangle ratio 300-29-1. Mr Heinrich was concerned about your chances of avoiding injury or death in the near future, …

An approaching sandstorm in Al Assad, Iraq in 2005. Credit: US Marine Corp/Wikipedia

Massive sandstorm protects new Christians from militants

Bibles for Mideast (BFM), an organization that shares the Gospel and uses teams to smuggle Bibles into Middle Eastern countries, recently shared a story of how God used a sandstorm to protect recent converts from probably certain death. According to their report, several converts from an unnamed Middle Eastern country had requested water baptism from the organization. Early one morning, BFM team members transported the 24 candidates and friends, 50 in total, on a bus for a baptism service in the Arabian Sea. The organization noted that before baptism, candidates typically spend three days fasting and praying. They made it to the ocean, had their baptism, and were heading back to a house church for worship and communion, when gunmen came up behind them in cars and started shooting at the bus. Because of this very danger they had tried to keep the baptism secret, but somehow the extremists had found out. They had either been told or perhaps saw the baptism taking place. The report stated: “Suddenly some militants reached behind us by three …

Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Credit: Youtube capture

Birthed in suffering: The enchanting music of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

A friend recently attended a performance by the Christian group Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus that is currently touring Canada. She described it was one of the most incredible events she has ever attended, Christian or secular. Oddly this group from the Ukraine, now working under Music Mission Kyiv, was not always Christian. A year after the fall of Soviet Union in December 1991, an Episcopalian church in Kiev, Ukraine invited American Christian choral director Roger McMurrin to present Handel’s Messiah. The atheistic communist government had forbid sacred music and Handel’s Messiah had not been played in the Ukraine for an estimated 70 years. After his arrival in 1992, McMurrin who had served as choral director for several churches in the US, hired a local symphony and 37 singers to put on the Christian classic. The performance had a profound impact on the people, the media and the choral group. McMurrin described the presentation as an “explosion of light.” On his flight home to America, God asked McMurrin to move back to the Ukraine, to …

The Prophetic call Credit: DraconianRain/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey: The Call

[This is the first in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] I would like to share the story of my call and journey in the prophetic ministry. This is not a teaching on the Five W’s of the prophetic ministry (whatever that would be) – this is a very personal journey of God healing brokenness, not so I could prophesy, but so I could walk whole in Him! I grew up with very low self-esteem, thinking I was stupid, school was a nightmare, and I never seemed to fit anywhere. I remember as an 11 or 12-year old contemplating killing myself because I hated everything about myself – I was damaged goods and I just wanted the pain to stop. I was extremely shy and afraid to stand in front of anyone for any reason. As a young believer there was a person in my life who had a “prophetic ministry.” I watched this person “minister” out of their unresolved issues. Their ministry was dark and almost …

Tel Lachish from inside the city. Credit: Wikipedia/Liadmalone

Does an ancient toilet confirm 2 Kings 10:27?

27 They also broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day. (2 Kings 10:27 NASV) This verse tells the story of King Jehu eradicating Baal out Israel. After destroying the idols in one particular temple, Jehu ordered his men to set up a toilet in the Baal sanctuary. This transformation to an outhouse was the kings way of desecrating the temple and recent archaeological excavations suggest it was a common practice. Archaeologists working at the Tel-Lachish site in central Israel have made an amazing discovery. They found a toilet in an ancient Baal shrine. The site is dated to the reign of King Hezekiah (715BC to 686BC). This is the remains of the ancient city of Lachish mentioned several times in the Bible (2 Kings 14:17-19). Many consider it Judah’s second most important city behind Jerusalem. King Sennacherib of Assyria destroyed Lachish in 701AD during the reign of  Judah’s King Hezekiah. Hezekiah, one of Israel’s most prominent reforming kings, is listed in …