Letters

When God Paused

There is a funny little verse in Genesis chapter 1: “And God said, Let us make man in our image,…” [Genesis 1:26]

There's so much you can learn when God pauses for a little interjection like this.

This is the first – and only – time that God says this. He never said “Say, let's make mountains.” Or “Let's make some stars” It was only when he made man, that he paused and said “Hey, let's do this. Let's make man.”

Apparently there is something about making man that takes more consideration than when you're making sweet potatoes or goldfish or black holes. Apparently there is something about making man, that makes even God pause for a moment, to think about it before he does the making.

Thus far, God had created everything in the universe, except man. All the stars, all the planets, all the asteroids, all the strange things of space. He had already filled the Earth, with fish in the oceans, animals all over the land, green plants growing everywhere, a healthy weather system in place, to make sure it all kept going well.

And I suppose it's fair to say that when that omniscient Trinity of omnipotent beings pause to think about something, that they do a really good job of thinking. I'll bet it's not a mystery to them, when they apply themselves to thinking about making man.

So he thinks about man.

“Well, if we are going to make men really, actually in our image, he has to have free will. And actual free will means he has authority, like God. Now what will he do with that authority, that free will? What will he do with that aspect that makes him like God?”

And God looked further into the future.

I think what he saw might have broken his heart. After a long time of  naming animals and plants, of caring for the garden,  God watched Eve eat an apple from the tree they were instructed not to eat from, and share it with her husband, Adam. He knew he would need to send them out of the garden, lest they eat from the Tree of Life, and live forever in sin.

And still God looked. And God saw. And God saw Cain and Abel, and he wept. And God saw Enoch, and he rejoiced come with a joy that only a God can Rejoice with. And God saw Noah, and he saw the flood, and he wept some more, as he watched the effects of that first sin poison Humanity.

And still God looked down through the years of History. He saw Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac, and Jacob and his multitudes. He saw their years in Egypt, and he made a mental note to prepare a Moses.

And he kept looking. He saw David, and he saw a succession of Kings. And he saw the Dark Ages, Attila the Hun, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler. Such pain. Such heartache.

And then he saw you.

He saw your birth, he saw the squalling mess of your beginning. He watched you grow up.

And he fell in love with you. And in that moment, that God was thinking about what would happen if he created Adam and Eve, in that nanosecond of applied omniscience, God's thinking changed. God was in love.

And because he was in love with you, he no longer had the option of NOT creating man. Because, you see, if he didn't create man, then you would never be born, and that was unthinkable, even by an omniscient thinker. He loved you, even then.

Before your remotest ancestor was created, God was already in love with you.

But that apple. That sin. That disease that would inhabit these humans. Something needed to be done about that sin.

And God said to himself, there's only the one option. I will take off my divinity, I will conceal my Godhood, and I will become one of them. And God said, but they will kill me. And he replied, yes. So? Do you not agree? And God said Yes. We will become the lamb that is too be slain. We will take away, not just their sin, but their sinfulness.

And God knew that dying for these people, these children, would not, could not guarantee a relationship. He was completely adamant about free will. Without free will, we would not be his children. Without free will, we would be pets, or robots, nothing more.

No, his death for us did not, we'll never, overcome our free will. But it will open the door. When God walks among us, now he can tell us of his love. Now he can show us what it's like in his family. Now we have a chance to join him.


That is the story of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. [Revelation 13:8] That was for you. 
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Letters

When God Paused

There is a funny little verse in Genesis chapter 1: “And God said, Let us make man in our image,…” [Genesis 1:26]

There's so much you can learn when God pauses for a little interjection like this.

This is the first – and only – time that God says this. He never said “Say, let's make mountains.” Or “Let's make some stars” It was only when he made man, that he paused and said “Hey, let's do this. Let's make man.”

Apparently there is something about making man that takes more consideration than when you're making sweet potatoes or goldfish or black holes. Apparently there is something about making man, that makes even God pause for a moment, to think about it before he does the making.

Thus far, God had created everything in the universe, except man. All the stars, all the planets, all the asteroids, all the strange things of space. He had already filled the Earth, with fish in the oceans, animals all over the land, green plants growing everywhere, a healthy weather system in place, to make sure it all kept going well.

And I suppose it's fair to say that when that omniscient Trinity of omnipotent beings pause to think about something, that they do a really good job of thinking. I'll bet it's not a mystery to them, when they apply themselves to thinking about making man.

So he thinks about man.

“Well, if we are going to make men really, actually in our image, he has to have free will. And actual free will means he has authority, like God. Now what will he do with that authority, that free will? What will he do with that aspect that makes him like God?”

And God looked further into the future.

I think what he saw might have broken his heart. After a long time of  naming animals and plants, of caring for the garden,  God watched Eve eat an apple from the tree they were instructed not to eat from, and share it with her husband, Adam. He knew he would need to send them out of the garden, lest they eat from the Tree of Life, and live forever in sin.

And still God looked. And God saw. And God saw Cain and Abel, and he wept. And God saw Enoch, and he rejoiced come with a joy that only a God can Rejoice with. And God saw Noah, and he saw the flood, and he wept some more, as he watched the effects of that first sin poison Humanity.

And still God looked down through the years of History. He saw Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac, and Jacob and his multitudes. He saw their years in Egypt, and he made a mental note to prepare a Moses.

And he kept looking. He saw David, and he saw a succession of Kings. And he saw the Dark Ages, Attila the Hun, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler. Such pain. Such heartache.

And then he saw you.

He saw your birth, he saw the squalling mess of your beginning. He watched you grow up.

And he fell in love with you. And in that moment, that God was thinking about what would happen if he created Adam and Eve, in that nanosecond of applied omniscience, God's thinking changed. God was in love.

And because he was in love with you, he no longer had the option of NOT creating man. Because, you see, if he didn't create man, then you would never be born, and that was unthinkable, even by an omniscient thinker. He loved you, even then.

Before your remotest ancestor was created, God was already in love with you.

But that apple. That sin. That disease that would inhabit these humans. Something needed to be done about that sin.

And God said to himself, there's only the one option. I will take off my divinity, I will conceal my Godhood, and I will become one of them. And God said, but they will kill me. And he replied, yes. So? Do you not agree? And God said Yes. We will become the lamb that is too be slain. We will take away, not just their sin, but their sinfulness.

And God knew that dying for these people, these children, would not, could not guarantee a relationship. He was completely adamant about free will. Without free will, we would not be his children. Without free will, we would be pets, or robots, nothing more.

No, his death for us did not, we'll never, overcome our free will. But it will open the door. When God walks among us, now he can tell us of his love. Now he can show us what it's like in his family. Now we have a chance to join him.


That is the story of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. [Revelation 13:8] That was for you. 
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Prophecy

It’s Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve. My home is filled with laughing children. My son is making something wonderful in the kitchen. My wife has forbidden any entry into the bedroom until the last few presents are wrapped. A video game is blaring in the living room, and power tools are finishing up a last-minute gift in the shop.
My home is a very busy place. And honestly, I love it.
But as much as this night is about family, it’s even more about a Birth. I stepped outside to visit with Father about it, to remember that Birth with Him.
Immediately, I had an image of Him, as eager as a grandchild would be, clapping happily, dancing from foot to foot: this is His Happy Dance!
For me, the laboring woman and her not-quite-husband are separated from me by twenty centuries. But as God is Lord of Time (among many other things), He is right this minute, dancing with joyful anticipation over this impending Birth.
God, being omniscient, knew of the failure of man in the Garden before He even spoke the words, “Let Us create man, in Our image…” Before he ever even scooped up mud and shaped it and prepared it to hold His Own breath, he knew that man would fail the test, would eat of the wrong tree, would submit to the wrong voice, and would be doomed to death.
But God, being the best in the universe at planning ahead, already knew that He, Himself, in the flesh and blood of humanity, would die a gruesome death in a backwater, occupied nation in the geographical armpit of that planet in order to establish a New Covenant with them. How he looked forward to that!
And He knew that before God could die for man, God would have to become a man. And this! He looked forward to this with such joy!
And tonight is the night!
The most patient Father that has ever existed has been eagerly, joyfully anticipating this night! This is the beginning of the Covenant that He’s longed for since the Garden: when he would have a nation of Kings and Priests who would know his Father’s heart and love Him as freely as He loves them!
The cross? That torture, that pain, that indescribable humiliation? That was nothing! Nothing! Less than nothing! He would pay ANY price for the privilege of whispering of his love to his wayward children. If there could have been a greater price that could ever have been paid, He would have paid it without hesitation for the children that He treasured above even His own eternal, omnipotent life!
And tonight is the night that it all began.
Tonight! As Mary is breathing hard and sweating heavily, as Joseph is wringing his hands and feeling nearly (but not quite) useless in the face of The Birth, God Himself is dancing with joy! Angels are ministering to the new mother and anxious dad, but God is laughing and jumping and shouting his joy to the heavens!
Tonight it begins. Tomorrow He gets to walk – well, to crawl first – among his wayward children! The beginning of the Via Dolorosa begins in this little, sweaty barn, on the unknown edge of a tiny, powerless nation. This is the beginning of walking among them, and even more, this is the beginning of setting them free from everything that holds them back!
This is the night! This is THAT night.

Do you feel his joy? Can you feel his anticipation? 

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Devotionals, Letters

It’s Christmas Eve


It’s Christmas Eve. My home is filled with laughing children. My son is making something wonderful in the kitchen. My wife has forbidden any entry into the bedroom until the last few presents are wrapped. A video game is blaring in the living room, and power tools are finishing up a last-minute gift in the shop.

My home is a very busy place. And honestly, I love it.

But as much as this night is about family, it’s even more about a Birth. I stepped outside to visit with Father about it, to remember that Birth with Him.

Immediately, I had an image of Him, as eager as a grandchild would be, clapping happily, dancing from foot to foot: this is His Happy Dance!

For me, the laboring woman and her not-quite-husband are separated from me by twenty centuries. But as God is Lord of Time (among many other things), He is right this minute, dancing with joyful anticipation over this impending Birth.

God, being omniscient, knew of the failure of man in the Garden before He even spoke the words, “Let Us create man, in Our image…” Before he ever even scooped up mud and shaped it and prepared it to hold His Own breath, he knew that man would fail the test, would eat of the wrong tree, would submit to the wrong voice, and would be doomed to death.

But God, being the best in the universe at planning ahead, already knew that He, Himself, in the flesh and blood of humanity, would die a gruesome death in a backwater, occupied nation in the geographical armpit of that planet in order to establish a New Covenant with them. How he looked forward to that!

And He knew that before God could die for man, God would have to become a man. And this! He looked forward to this with such joy!
And tonight is the night!

The most patient Father that has ever existed has been eagerly, joyfully anticipating this night! This is the beginning of the Covenant that He’s longed for since the Garden: when he would have a nation of Kings and Priests who would know his Father’s heart and love Him as freely as He loves them!

The cross? That torture, that pain, that indescribable humiliation? That was nothing! Nothing! Less than nothing! He would pay ANY price for the privilege of whispering of his love to his wayward children. If there could have been a greater price that could ever have been paid, He would have paid it without hesitation for the children that He treasured above even His own eternal, omnipotent life!

And tonight is the night that it all began.

Tonight! As Mary is breathing hard and sweating heavily, as Joseph is wringing his hands and feeling nearly (but not quite) useless in the face of The Birth, God Himself is dancing with joy! Angels are ministering to the new mother and anxious dad, but God is laughing and jumping and shouting his joy to the heavens!

Tonight it begins. Tomorrow He gets to walk – well, to crawl first – among his wayward children! The beginning of the Via Dolorosa begins in this little, sweaty barn, on the unknown edge of a tiny, powerless nation. This is the beginning of walking among them, and even more, this is the beginning of setting them free from everything that holds them back!

This is the night! This is THAT night.

Do you feel his joy? Can you feel his anticipation? 


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Devotionals, Letters

It’s Christmas Eve


It’s Christmas Eve. My home is filled with laughing children. My son is making something wonderful in the kitchen. My wife has forbidden any entry into the bedroom until the last few presents are wrapped. A video game is blaring in the living room, and power tools are finishing up a last-minute gift in the shop.

My home is a very busy place. And honestly, I love it.

But as much as this night is about family, it’s even more about a Birth. I stepped outside to visit with Father about it, to remember that Birth with Him.

Immediately, I had an image of Him, as eager as a grandchild would be, clapping happily, dancing from foot to foot: this is His Happy Dance!

For me, the laboring woman and her not-quite-husband are separated from me by twenty centuries. But as God is Lord of Time (among many other things), He is right this minute, dancing with joyful anticipation over this impending Birth.

God, being omniscient, knew of the failure of man in the Garden before He even spoke the words, “Let Us create man, in Our image…” Before he ever even scooped up mud and shaped it and prepared it to hold His Own breath, he knew that man would fail the test, would eat of the wrong tree, would submit to the wrong voice, and would be doomed to death.

But God, being the best in the universe at planning ahead, already knew that He, Himself, in the flesh and blood of humanity, would die a gruesome death in a backwater, occupied nation in the geographical armpit of that planet in order to establish a New Covenant with them. How he looked forward to that!

And He knew that before God could die for man, God would have to become a man. And this! He looked forward to this with such joy!
And tonight is the night!

The most patient Father that has ever existed has been eagerly, joyfully anticipating this night! This is the beginning of the Covenant that He’s longed for since the Garden: when he would have a nation of Kings and Priests who would know his Father’s heart and love Him as freely as He loves them!

The cross? That torture, that pain, that indescribable humiliation? That was nothing! Nothing! Less than nothing! He would pay ANY price for the privilege of whispering of his love to his wayward children. If there could have been a greater price that could ever have been paid, He would have paid it without hesitation for the children that He treasured above even His own eternal, omnipotent life!

And tonight is the night that it all began.

Tonight! As Mary is breathing hard and sweating heavily, as Joseph is wringing his hands and feeling nearly (but not quite) useless in the face of The Birth, God Himself is dancing with joy! Angels are ministering to the new mother and anxious dad, but God is laughing and jumping and shouting his joy to the heavens!

Tonight it begins. Tomorrow He gets to walk – well, to crawl first – among his wayward children! The beginning of the Via Dolorosa begins in this little, sweaty barn, on the unknown edge of a tiny, powerless nation. This is the beginning of walking among them, and even more, this is the beginning of setting them free from everything that holds them back!

This is the night! This is THAT night.

Do you feel his joy? Can you feel his anticipation? 


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Prophecy

When Darkness Comes Into the Light

For a long time, I’ve been praying that the things that have been hidden in darkness would be revealed in the light. Many of you have been praying similar things.
I’m not stopping those prayers (please, don’t you stop either). But I’m adding to it: I’m praying that those that see the things drawn out into the light would recognize them, would understand them, and would take wise action based on what they recognize and understand.
There’s a lot of dark stuff going on in hidden places in our world. It has to: there’s so very much light increasing all around, that the darkness is not just where dark things are most comfortable, but now, that’s the only place where the dark things can survive.
As I pray these prayers, I expect hidden things in governments to be brought into the light and recognized. I expect people to recognize and condemn atrocities in the Middle East and in Asia. I expect that dark things in the medical community and the business world will be revealed, perhaps most especially where those two worlds overlap. As I pray, I expect that hidden things in the education systems will come to light and surprise many.
Demonic strongholds will be uncovered, and – if we’re attentive – torn down. Demonic plans will evaporate to dust. Sins and influences that have been hidden in darkness will be uncovered; some will scurry away to find more darkness, and others, unable to hide, will find their end when a Saint notices them and wields their sword of the Spirit on them.
But it won’t only happen “over there.” This trend toward disclosure will also happen “over here.” And it’s probably good that it does. There’s darkness in the Christian religious system as well, and if we’re violently honest, there’s probably a measure of darkness in most of our lives that we’ve completely lost track of.
I suppose these will come into the light as well.
But I also expect that we’ll see our hopes and desires come to light, and surprise many, even surprising ourselves. And it won’t just be us, it will be many people, shaking their heads, as if awakening from a dream, and marveling at the dreams and visions that are in their own hearts.
I expect that as we pray, we’ll see the “sons of God” emerge from their hidden place, and take their places in the Kingdom of God, and no, I don’t really know what that will look like.
And best of all, our Magnificent Bridegroom, who has been hidden by the weeds and distractions of the world will no longer be hidden. He will be seen as he really is, and as we see him, we’ll be transformed.
I look forward to walking in the fulfillment of these prayers. Would you care to join me? 
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Devotionals, Letters

When Darkness Comes Into the Light

For a long time, I’ve been praying that the things that have been hidden in darkness would be revealed in the light. Many of you have been praying similar things.

I’m not stopping those prayers (please, don’t you stop either). But I’m adding to it: I’m praying that those that see the things drawn out into the light would recognize them, would understand them, and would take wise action based on what they recognize and understand.

There’s a lot of dark stuff going on in hidden places in our world. It has to: there’s so very much light increasing all around, that the darkness is not just where dark things are most comfortable, but now, that’s the only place where the dark things can survive.

As I pray these prayers, I expect hidden things in governments to be brought into the light and recognized. I expect people to recognize and condemn atrocities in the Middle East and in Asia. I expect that dark things in the medical community and the business world will be revealed, perhaps most especially where those two worlds overlap. As I pray, I expect that hidden things in the education systems will come to light and surprise many.

Demonic strongholds will be uncovered, and – if we’re attentive – torn down. Demonic plans will evaporate to dust. Sins and influences that have been hidden in darkness will be uncovered; some will scurry away to find more darkness, and others, unable to hide, will find their end when a Saint notices them and wields their sword of the Spirit on them.

But it won’t only happen “over there.” This trend toward disclosure will also happen “over here.” And it’s probably good that it does. There’s darkness in the Christian religious system as well, and if we’re violently honest, there’s probably a measure of darkness in most of our lives that we’ve completely lost track of.

I suppose these will come into the light as well.

But I also expect that we’ll see our hopes and desires come to light, and surprise many, even surprising ourselves. And it won’t just be us, it will be many people, shaking their heads, as if awakening from a dream, and marveling at the dreams and visions that are in their own hearts.

I expect that as we pray, we’ll see the “sons of God” emerge from their hidden place, and take their places in the Kingdom of God, and no, I don’t really know what that will look like.

And best of all, our Magnificent Bridegroom, who has been hidden by the weeds and distractions of the world will no longer be hidden. He will be seen as he really is, and as we see him, we’ll be transformed.

I look forward to walking in the fulfillment of these prayers. Would you care to join me? 
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Prophecy

Too Much Talking. Not Enough Listening.

I need to speak (again) about things that I lack expertise on, and therefore about things wherein I am NOT an expert. This isnt so much about the issue, as it is about the process of addressing the issue. 
Recently, I posted about a revival I’m beginning to see in the homosexual community. One of the things that makes this subject hard to sort through (and yes, it happens on many other subjects as well) is that both sides are talking at the other, and neither side is trying to listen: it’s polarizing an issue that doesn’t need to be polarized, or not so much as it is getting. 
In that article (http://nwp.link/1A6zNVd), I attempted to avoid taking sides, because I’m trying to propose a better response: we need to love one another.
It’s really interesting when I chose to step outside of the polarization, and declined to take one side or the other in this controversial topic. First, it’s really hard to see the actual issues clearly through all the rhetoric. And second, when I declare myself (as I attempted to do with that article) as not on either side, then I get passionate emails from both sides, saying, “This is what I believe, and it’s true!”
I received a pretty large number of messages of this sort from “both sides” of the issue, and they all pretty much assumed the same conclusion: “I’m right, so you must agree with me!” inferring, of course that “Anybody who sees this differently is deceived!” I was honored to be approached by both sides. I was disappointed that most of those approaches were attempts to convert me.
I deduce that since the two groups – both declaring that their viewpoint is true! – are declaring what are sometimes mutually exclusive opinions, it is conclusive that there is a measure of deception involved. And the odds are – as we are dealing with humans, here – that there is deception in both camps. (And the guys like me that are trying to stay out of either group – by virtue of our humanity – are NO less prone to imperfection than anyone else.) 
I’ve been walking with God and with his people for more than half a century, and one thing I’ve learned is that when everybody’s insisting that they’re right and the other guy is wrong, that’s not an environment where we can find a common ground. It’s only when we quit telling others what they must believe, and start listening to what they DO believe, that we have any chance at all at finding a small place where we agree that we can start building some relationship. Besides, me telling you what you must believe is clearly not loving you. 
So here’s a challenge: if you have an opinion about the subject of Gay Christians, I challenge you to shut your mouth and listen to the other guys. I don’t care if you’ve got eleventeen Bible verses that conclusively prove that you’re right and they’re wrong, I maintain that shouting at someone about their wrongness will never encourage them to hear you, and that’s what we want: people actually hearing each other.
So I encourage us to stop talking on this topic, and listen to someone else’s point of view. And after you’ve listened, make sure you’ve heard them right (“I think I heard you say this… did I hear right?”) because we’re not used to hearing real people: we’re used to hearing out-of-context sound bites that our own side uses to prove the point you already believe. Both sides do this, and it’s normal. It’s also messed up.
After you’ve tested what you’ve heard, and you know you’ve heard them right, then still keep your mouth closed, and think about what they’ve said. Consider their heart. Consider the wounds they’ve endured from you and your friends (this has happened on both sides!). Consider that God loves them every bit as much as he loves you! And maybe, if you dare, consider asking God what HE thinks and how HE feels about those people who don’t agree with you. (If you can do this in less than a week, you haven’t done a good job.)
And one final challenge: Consider not telling others what you believe, until and unless someone has asked for your opinion. Then go out of your way to not alienate others. 
This is a place where Saint Francis’s sage advice is priceless: “Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” In other words, once you’ve demonstrated the good news of the gospel, once you’ve loved until it cost you more than you wanted to pay, once it’s become necessary (ie, they’ve asked), then consider the gentlest, most loving way to share how God has led you. And then listen some more.
I guarantee that Westboro Baptist won’t find you acceptable in this. And I guarantee you won’t get a smidgeon of support from the mainstream media: they both thrive on controversy, but controversy isn’t actually our goal. 

But you’ll hear Fathers heart better. And maybe you’ll make your Father (who loves both of you) smile.

And his smile is ALWAYS worth the price! Always.

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Columns, Devotionals

He Sends His Word and He Heals Us


Happy Monday!

I am so aware of my blessings this morning and so grateful to my kind and loving Heavenly Father today! We never know what's in the heart of someone else and I want to share what's in mine this morning.

I am the most blessed person on the planet. I have every blessing that anyone can have in life - a wonderful relationship with my Saviour, a loving husband and family, wonderful friends, good health and a beautiful home...everything!


But I have been believing a lie from the enemy for several years and it has hurt me and hindered me deeply. I knew in my head that it was a lie. God had shown me this and I'd even 'seen' the demon, but knowing in my head and getting set free in my heart were two different things.

And I had waged war against this lie and I know how to do this. I had worshiped. I had gotten into the Presence of My Father to receive His healing, I had taken the 'sword of the Word' and attacked this thought regularly but it was like a shadow over all my thinking.  Every encounter that I had with people was shaded by this lie.

I don't mean to be cryptic in not telling you what the lie was - I just don't want you to feel sorry for me!  I really mean that. I think anyone who knows me would be surprised by the lie that I was living under.

On Friday, a lovely lady named Marsha Splenderosa, (www.splenderosa.blogspot.com) did the nicest thing.  She commented on my blog, Gates of Crystal, but also featured our family room on her own blog.  That's nice enough but something about the words she said to me went straight to my heart.

Now, I don't know what all it takes to get a person set free.  I don't know what finally tips the scale so that we can 'hear and receive' the voice of God, but this kind lady's words to me tipped the scale.

Many of you have said kind words to me and I think your words were also part of the healing.  Many of you have blessed me and helped me to do what God was telling me to do,  but when I read Marsha's words, I suddenly began to hear God speaking to me!  I'm not going to tell you what He said.  God is SO gracious and SO kind and He loves us and is proud of us, like a Father.  His LOVE covers a multitude of our sins and He continues to see the good in us and inspire us to be all He has called us to be.

And with a few sentences, He healed me.  I have tears in my eyes as I write that sentence. God has always been so good to me and He is SO faithful but it was freshly amazing to me to hear how He sees me. And I was amazed to realize that 'the lie' was gone.

I am filled with 'fresh expectation.'  I have fresh HOPE for the future and this lie had been destroying my hope.

A few months ago, I learned that a young woman that I knew several years ago had taken her life. On the surface, she had everything; a loving, successful husband, a beautiful little girl, a life full of promise.  What lie was she living under that caused her to lose hope?

If you are losing hope, if you are living under a lie that is contrary to the truth of God's Word, please know that God sees your heart and He is fighting to get His Word to you and save you. Spend time in His presence. Spend time in His Word. Cry out to Him and ask Him to help you.

I did all these things but when I ran out of everything I knew to do, I finally just began to yell, "Help me!" over and over again, every day, every night.

Please let me know if I can pray for you.  lyndabrandly@gmail.com

love and blessings~


"He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from all their destruction."  Psalm 107:20

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Columns, Devotionals

He Sends His Word and He Heals Us


Happy Monday!

I am so aware of my blessings this morning and so grateful to my kind and loving Heavenly Father today! We never know what's in the heart of someone else and I want to share what's in mine this morning.

I am the most blessed person on the planet. I have every blessing that anyone can have in life - a wonderful relationship with my Saviour, a loving husband and family, wonderful friends, good health and a beautiful home...everything!


But I have been believing a lie from the enemy for several years and it has hurt me and hindered me deeply. I knew in my head that it was a lie. God had shown me this and I'd even 'seen' the demon, but knowing in my head and getting set free in my heart were two different things.

And I had waged war against this lie and I know how to do this. I had worshiped. I had gotten into the Presence of My Father to receive His healing, I had taken the 'sword of the Word' and attacked this thought regularly but it was like a shadow over all my thinking.  Every encounter that I had with people was shaded by this lie.

I don't mean to be cryptic in not telling you what the lie was - I just don't want you to feel sorry for me!  I really mean that. I think anyone who knows me would be surprised by the lie that I was living under.

On Friday, a lovely lady named Marsha Splenderosa, (www.splenderosa.blogspot.com) did the nicest thing.  She commented on my blog, Gates of Crystal, but also featured our family room on her own blog.  That's nice enough but something about the words she said to me went straight to my heart.

Now, I don't know what all it takes to get a person set free.  I don't know what finally tips the scale so that we can 'hear and receive' the voice of God, but this kind lady's words to me tipped the scale.

Many of you have said kind words to me and I think your words were also part of the healing.  Many of you have blessed me and helped me to do what God was telling me to do,  but when I read Marsha's words, I suddenly began to hear God speaking to me!  I'm not going to tell you what He said.  God is SO gracious and SO kind and He loves us and is proud of us, like a Father.  His LOVE covers a multitude of our sins and He continues to see the good in us and inspire us to be all He has called us to be.

And with a few sentences, He healed me.  I have tears in my eyes as I write that sentence. God has always been so good to me and He is SO faithful but it was freshly amazing to me to hear how He sees me. And I was amazed to realize that 'the lie' was gone.

I am filled with 'fresh expectation.'  I have fresh HOPE for the future and this lie had been destroying my hope.

A few months ago, I learned that a young woman that I knew several years ago had taken her life. On the surface, she had everything; a loving, successful husband, a beautiful little girl, a life full of promise.  What lie was she living under that caused her to lose hope?

If you are losing hope, if you are living under a lie that is contrary to the truth of God's Word, please know that God sees your heart and He is fighting to get His Word to you and save you. Spend time in His presence. Spend time in His Word. Cry out to Him and ask Him to help you.

I did all these things but when I ran out of everything I knew to do, I finally just began to yell, "Help me!" over and over again, every day, every night.

Please let me know if I can pray for you.  lyndabrandly@gmail.com

love and blessings~


"He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from all their destruction."  Psalm 107:20

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Prophecy

Considering Covenants

The Bible makes it abundantly clear. We are no longer bound by the Old Covenant.
For example, in Hebrews 8, the author argues forcefully and at length that the Old Covenant has been replaced.
“In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” (Hebrews 8:13)
Let’s be clear about it: the Old Covenant was rendered obsolete when Jesus established the New Covenant in his blood, not long before he spilled that blood for us. And within a generation, the last vestiges of that Old Covenant were gone, not one stone left upon another, all records destroyed, so that there could never be another temple.
The reason that the Old Covenant is gone is because it was obsolete. It was a bloody failure anyway. God originally offered the family of Jacob (also known as Israel) a covenant  a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation”” covenant (Exodus 19:6), but Israel turned down that covenant.
Instead, they proposed the priesthood covenant (Exodus 20:19), which they could not keep even long enough for Moses to walk down the mountain with the terms of the covenant they had insisted on. And the rest of the Old Testament serves as a dreary testimony to how thoroughly and how deeply Israelcontinued to fail in covenant with Father.
There’s a lesson here, I think: Humankind does not excel at keeping divine covenants.
But when we are in Christ, and Christ is in covenant with Father, then I don’t have to rely on MY capacity for perfection to keep my covenant intact. And since the New Covenant is not with a nation, then I don’t have to rely on YOUR capacity for perfection to keep MY covenant intact.
It is the amazing faithfulness of the amazing Son of God who keeps covenant on our behalf. And I am included in that covenant because I am in Him.
And while I made a conscious choice to be in Him, it is not my excellence at keeping that choice that keeps me in Him. Even while I am in Him, He is simultaneously in me, and he is indeed excellent at keeping me.

I choose to stay in Him, not because I signed some covenant agreement, and not because of the threat that he may not love me if I muff up.
I choose to stay in Him because He is the very best thing that’s ever happened to me, and because I am completely, madly, hopelessly in love. And you know what keeps me in love with Him? He is completely, madly, hopelessly in love with me!
Wow!
Come join the conversation at https://www.facebook.com/northwestprophetic. 

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Prophecy

Four Major Strategic Turning Points

James W. Goll

These are the Beginning of Those Days!

Acts 4:29-31, And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

We have stepped into the days that the Holy Spirit and His angels spoke to me about 27 years ago when I still lived in Kansas City and was a part of the birthing of the modern day global prophetic movement. This is indeed a critical hour in this nation and the nations of the earth. We must discern the signs of the times properly.

• Days when the Middle East would be a boiling caldron and watchmen would be needed to pray a hedge of protection around the nation of Israel.

• Days when signs and wonders would break out across the Body of Christ.

• Days when the Lord would say, "Put in the sickle for the harvest is ripe!"

• Days when a new Jesus People movement would begin to flourish.

• Days when the Church would globally gather to be the House of Prayer for all Nations in authentic 24/7 expressions.

I am so grateful to be alive for such a time as this. I have survived to be a father, a leader, a voice crying in the wilderness, and one of the veterans to help prepare the way in these Days of Harvest.

The following are Four Strategic Turning Points I am observing that are both promises as well as warnings:

1. The Middle East – A Boiling Cauldron

Recently I was given a "warning dream" stating that we were entering into the time of the "division of the nations". Nation after nation will take a stand against Israel and her land covenant with God and abandon her. (I do not like making this statement!) Many nations will take a dangerous position at this time concerning their posture towards Israel and the Land. I have been declaring for over a decade that in 2013 a war would break out in Syriaand the Gaza Strip and would spill over into Fall 2014.

Tensions would then escalate and the Middle East would be a "boiling cauldron" where it seemed as though things were totally out of control. But I continued to look as darkness began to make advantages. I was looking for the promise in the midst of "time of trouble". Then understanding came to me, "There will be one nation that will arise in that dark hour – the nation called the 'Body of Christ' who will be Israel's best friend." 

2. The Sounds of Heavenly Hope 

Recently on one of my very dark days of recovery from disc surgery, while recovering in my bedroom, I had an amazing audible encounter. I heard music I have never heard before. It was brilliant, clear sounds of orchestrated chimes and bell choirs ringing in my room. I thought I was hearing the amazing sounds of Heaven in a dream. But I realized I was awake and the sounds were echoing in my room.

I wondered what in the world is this? Never heard anything like this before! I searched my room to check the source: the alarm clock and my iPhone. But the sound of the bells and chimes continued to ring forth.

Then I realized, "Oh my gosh, this is not natural. This is the sounds of Heavenly Hope ringing audibly in my room."

Then all of a sudden, after about 5 minutes as the music began to fade away, I knew I had just received a message on my iPhone that I needed to check. Sure enough, right at that moment I received a notification from a friend of unusual encouragement assuring me that God had everything under control and that provision would be on the way.

Yes, the bells of Heavenly Hope are ringing in the earth realm. Tune your ear to hear the sounds of Heaven in the earth realm! Hope is on the way! 

3. The West Coast Rumble 

The word of the Lord has come to me twice in the month of August speaking to me about the West Coast Rumble: a spiritual shaking coming to Californiaand the entire west coast.

HE calls it The Rumble. He is going to RUMBLE along Highway 101 and Highway 110, up and down the coast, all the way from San Diego to Vancouver, British Columbia and seaports all along the way. He will do a new dance step called the RUMBA – and the West coast will no longer be called the "Left" coast as He will RUMBLE with presence-saturated miracles performed with great ease. Get ready! The RUMBLE is coming!

I saw Mott Auditorium in Pasadena, CAagain in a dream on a recent morning. He said to me, "The birthing room is now in place – to watch over the movement as it begins. Travail will fall on Mott and many assemblies where they turn to seek My face. If they seek My face and not My hand they will get both this time around." For more on this subject, read a previous posting in which I heard John Wimber declare, "Come Again Holy Spirit!"

4. The Door of the Harvest is Open


I have been given the opportunity to see a different realm of angels than I have ever seen. In the seer realm I began to see Angels with sickles in their hand coming down the ladder of Heaven into the earth realm. I inquired of the Holy Spirit and He instructed me that Angels of the Harvest have been released. The Scripture was illuminated to me from Joel 3:13, "Put in the sickle for the harvest is ripe!"

I was given an encounter where a door was opened and a wind blew through. It startled me. I turned towards the door and I asked, "What is this?" The Holy Spirit replied, "The door of the Harvest is now open." (I am not declaring this is the door to the Great Harvest, but rather another time or season in the Lord of the Harvest of souls coming in.)

Believe the Lord for divine appointments and pray to the Lord of the Harvest to thrust forth laborers into the field of Harvest. It is harvest time!

Therefore let us continue to pray from Matthew 9:38, "Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."

We see in part and know in part... In this strategic season this is just a little bit of what the Father has been showing me as I have had over 100 days of being in my room alone in my home in Franklin, Tennesseerecovering. But always remember, we who know Christ, "We are never alone! He will never leave us or forsake us!"

God bless each one of you!
Dr. James W. Goll
Founder of Encounters Network • Prayer Storm • God Encounters Training e-School

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Prophecy

Four Major Strategic Turning Points

James W. Goll

These are the Beginning of Those Days!

Acts 4:29-31, And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

We have stepped into the days that the Holy Spirit and His angels spoke to me about 27 years ago when I still lived in Kansas City and was a part of the birthing of the modern day global prophetic movement. This is indeed a critical hour in this nation and the nations of the earth. We must discern the signs of the times properly.

• Days when the Middle East would be a boiling caldron and watchmen would be needed to pray a hedge of protection around the nation of Israel.

• Days when signs and wonders would break out across the Body of Christ.

• Days when the Lord would say, "Put in the sickle for the harvest is ripe!"

• Days when a new Jesus People movement would begin to flourish.

• Days when the Church would globally gather to be the House of Prayer for all Nations in authentic 24/7 expressions.

I am so grateful to be alive for such a time as this. I have survived to be a father, a leader, a voice crying in the wilderness, and one of the veterans to help prepare the way in these Days of Harvest.

The following are Four Strategic Turning Points I am observing that are both promises as well as warnings:

1. The Middle East – A Boiling Cauldron

Recently I was given a "warning dream" stating that we were entering into the time of the "division of the nations". Nation after nation will take a stand against Israel and her land covenant with God and abandon her. (I do not like making this statement!) Many nations will take a dangerous position at this time concerning their posture towards Israel and the Land. I have been declaring for over a decade that in 2013 a war would break out in Syriaand the Gaza Strip and would spill over into Fall 2014.

Tensions would then escalate and the Middle East would be a "boiling cauldron" where it seemed as though things were totally out of control. But I continued to look as darkness began to make advantages. I was looking for the promise in the midst of "time of trouble". Then understanding came to me, "There will be one nation that will arise in that dark hour – the nation called the 'Body of Christ' who will be Israel's best friend." 

2. The Sounds of Heavenly Hope 

Recently on one of my very dark days of recovery from disc surgery, while recovering in my bedroom, I had an amazing audible encounter. I heard music I have never heard before. It was brilliant, clear sounds of orchestrated chimes and bell choirs ringing in my room. I thought I was hearing the amazing sounds of Heaven in a dream. But I realized I was awake and the sounds were echoing in my room.

I wondered what in the world is this? Never heard anything like this before! I searched my room to check the source: the alarm clock and my iPhone. But the sound of the bells and chimes continued to ring forth.

Then I realized, "Oh my gosh, this is not natural. This is the sounds of Heavenly Hope ringing audibly in my room."

Then all of a sudden, after about 5 minutes as the music began to fade away, I knew I had just received a message on my iPhone that I needed to check. Sure enough, right at that moment I received a notification from a friend of unusual encouragement assuring me that God had everything under control and that provision would be on the way.

Yes, the bells of Heavenly Hope are ringing in the earth realm. Tune your ear to hear the sounds of Heaven in the earth realm! Hope is on the way! 

3. The West Coast Rumble 

The word of the Lord has come to me twice in the month of August speaking to me about the West Coast Rumble: a spiritual shaking coming to Californiaand the entire west coast.

HE calls it The Rumble. He is going to RUMBLE along Highway 101 and Highway 110, up and down the coast, all the way from San Diego to Vancouver, British Columbia and seaports all along the way. He will do a new dance step called the RUMBA – and the West coast will no longer be called the "Left" coast as He will RUMBLE with presence-saturated miracles performed with great ease. Get ready! The RUMBLE is coming!

I saw Mott Auditorium in Pasadena, CAagain in a dream on a recent morning. He said to me, "The birthing room is now in place – to watch over the movement as it begins. Travail will fall on Mott and many assemblies where they turn to seek My face. If they seek My face and not My hand they will get both this time around." For more on this subject, read a previous posting in which I heard John Wimber declare, "Come Again Holy Spirit!"

4. The Door of the Harvest is Open


I have been given the opportunity to see a different realm of angels than I have ever seen. In the seer realm I began to see Angels with sickles in their hand coming down the ladder of Heaven into the earth realm. I inquired of the Holy Spirit and He instructed me that Angels of the Harvest have been released. The Scripture was illuminated to me from Joel 3:13, "Put in the sickle for the harvest is ripe!"

I was given an encounter where a door was opened and a wind blew through. It startled me. I turned towards the door and I asked, "What is this?" The Holy Spirit replied, "The door of the Harvest is now open." (I am not declaring this is the door to the Great Harvest, but rather another time or season in the Lord of the Harvest of souls coming in.)

Believe the Lord for divine appointments and pray to the Lord of the Harvest to thrust forth laborers into the field of Harvest. It is harvest time!

Therefore let us continue to pray from Matthew 9:38, "Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."

We see in part and know in part... In this strategic season this is just a little bit of what the Father has been showing me as I have had over 100 days of being in my room alone in my home in Franklin, Tennesseerecovering. But always remember, we who know Christ, "We are never alone! He will never leave us or forsake us!"

God bless each one of you!
Dr. James W. Goll
Founder of Encounters Network • Prayer Storm • God Encounters Training e-School

Standard
Prophecy

Four Major Strategic Turning Points

James W. Goll
These are the Beginning of Those Days!
Acts 4:29-31, And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
We have stepped into the days that the Holy Spirit and His angels spoke to me about 27 years ago when I still lived in Kansas City and was a part of the birthing of the modern day global prophetic movement. This is indeed a critical hour in this nation and the nations of the earth. We must discern the signs of the times properly.
• Days when the Middle East would be a boiling caldron and watchmen would be needed to pray a hedge of protection around the nation of Israel.
• Days when signs and wonders would break out across the Body of Christ.
• Days when the Lord would say, “Put in the sickle for the harvest is ripe!”
• Days when a new Jesus People movement would begin to flourish.
• Days when the Church would globally gather to be the House of Prayer for all Nations in authentic 24/7 expressions.
I am so grateful to be alive for such a time as this. I have survived to be a father, a leader, a voice crying in the wilderness, and one of the veterans to help prepare the way in these Days of Harvest.
The following are Four Strategic Turning Points I am observing that are both promises as well as warnings:
1. The Middle East – A Boiling Cauldron
Recently I was given a “warning dream” stating that we were entering into the time of the “division of the nations”. Nation after nation will take a stand against Israel and her land covenant with God and abandon her. (I do not like making this statement!) Many nations will take a dangerous position at this time concerning their posture towards Israel and the Land. I have been declaring for over a decade that in 2013 a war would break out in Syriaand the Gaza Strip and would spill over into Fall 2014.
Tensions would then escalate and the Middle East would be a “boiling cauldron” where it seemed as though things were totally out of control. But I continued to look as darkness began to make advantages. I was looking for the promise in the midst of “time of trouble”. Then understanding came to me, “There will be one nation that will arise in that dark hour – the nation called the ‘Body of Christ’ who will be Israel‘s best friend.” 
2. The Sounds of Heavenly Hope 
Recently on one of my very dark days of recovery from disc surgery, while recovering in my bedroom, I had an amazing audible encounter. I heard music I have never heard before. It was brilliant, clear sounds of orchestrated chimes and bell choirs ringing in my room. I thought I was hearing the amazing sounds of Heaven in a dream. But I realized I was awake and the sounds were echoing in my room.
I wondered what in the world is this? Never heard anything like this before! I searched my room to check the source: the alarm clock and my iPhone. But the sound of the bells and chimes continued to ring forth.
Then I realized, “Oh my gosh, this is not natural. This is the sounds of Heavenly Hope ringing audibly in my room.”
Then all of a sudden, after about 5 minutes as the music began to fade away, I knew I had just received a message on my iPhone that I needed to check. Sure enough, right at that moment I received a notification from a friend of unusual encouragement assuring me that God had everything under control and that provision would be on the way.
Yes, the bells of Heavenly Hope are ringing in the earth realm. Tune your ear to hear the sounds of Heaven in the earth realm! Hope is on the way! 
3. The West Coast Rumble 
The word of the Lord has come to me twice in the month of August speaking to me about the West Coast Rumble: a spiritual shaking coming to Californiaand the entire west coast.
HE calls it The Rumble. He is going to RUMBLE along Highway 101 and Highway 110, up and down the coast, all the way from San Diego to Vancouver, British Columbia and seaports all along the way. He will do a new dance step called the RUMBA – and the West coast will no longer be called the “Left” coast as He will RUMBLE with presence-saturated miracles performed with great ease. Get ready! The RUMBLE is coming!
I saw Mott Auditorium in Pasadena, CAagain in a dream on a recent morning. He said to me, “The birthing room is now in place – to watch over the movement as it begins. Travail will fall on Mott and many assemblies where they turn to seek My face. If they seek My face and not My hand they will get both this time around.” For more on this subject, read a previous posting in which I heard John Wimber declare, “Come Again Holy Spirit!”
4. The Door of the Harvest is Open

I have been given the opportunity to see a different realm of angels than I have ever seen. In the seer realm I began to see Angels with sickles in their hand coming down the ladder of Heaven into the earth realm. I inquired of the Holy Spirit and He instructed me that Angels of the Harvest have been released. The Scripture was illuminated to me from Joel 3:13, “Put in the sickle for the harvest is ripe!”
I was given an encounter where a door was opened and a wind blew through. It startled me. I turned towards the door and I asked, “What is this?” The Holy Spirit replied, “The door of the Harvest is now open.” (I am not declaring this is the door to the Great Harvest, but rather another time or season in the Lord of the Harvest of souls coming in.)
Believe the Lord for divine appointments and pray to the Lord of the Harvest to thrust forth laborers into the field of Harvest. It is harvest time!
Therefore let us continue to pray from Matthew 9:38, “Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
We see in part and know in part… In this strategic season this is just a little bit of what the Father has been showing me as I have had over 100 days of being in my room alone in my home in Franklin, Tennesseerecovering. But always remember, we who know Christ, “We are never alone! He will never leave us or forsake us!”
God bless each one of you!
Dr. James W. Goll
Founder of Encounters Network • Prayer Storm • God Encounters Training e-School

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