Monday, December 12, 2011

Ministry Update - December 2011

Recently, I read an article that mentioned the diminishing of the "River Movement." Many know that this renewal movement started nearly twenty years ago in Toronto and spread to many other places throughout the world. Millions of people have been impacted by this move of the Spirit. However, the author felt this movement had run its course. Ironically, Molly dropped by soon after and shared something that the Lord had just revealed to her - not once but twice. This is what she saw.

HIS GLORIOUS SUPPLY

During my devotion time, the Lord showed me a vision of a ministry leader in the river of God. He was splashing and having a great time. This river was fed by the rains of repentance and renewal that seemed to pour down upon his meetings. However, the scene abruptly changed and I saw a dry riverbed. Rather than swimming in a beautiful, deep river; the minister was now flopping around on the ground like a fish that had just fallen out of its fish bowl!

Later that evening, I saw another vision. I saw before me an expanse that seemed to be without end. Scattered throughout this vastness were empty riverbeds. Once overflowing with refreshing rainwater, they were now completely dried up. I then heard a voice speak as I gazed upon the sight, "The heavens are going to be as brass."

These two visions might have been discouraging except for something the Lord brought to my remembrance. When the Israelites wandered in the desert, hungry and thirsty, they discovered relief not from a river but amazingly from a rock! The Lord was teaching them to trust Him in a new way rather than relying on something that appeared familiar and logical. In the wilderness, they discovered that food could rain from heaven and water could spring forth from a lifeless stone. This, of course, required a greater dependency and trust in God. They were learning the unique dynamics of His Kingdom.

I believe we have also entered a season where our spiritual paradigms will be challenged by a new movement of His power and grace. I believe we must open up our hearts and minds and prepare to do things differently. If we change, He will enable us to fulfill His plans and purposes in this coming year.

HIS EXPANDING KINGDOM

God's presence and love continues to become more and more tangible within the Crow Wing County jail. Not only do inmates continue to give their lives to the Lord, but they are now ministering to others and bringing more into the Kingdom!!! Through their decisions to surrender their lives to Christ, their family members are getting saved and even their friends are coming to the Lord. At times, we find ourselves having to run to keep up with them!!! It is so awesome to see them go after God hard and fast!!! How true are the words that those who are forgiven much, love much.

A while back, one of the law enforcement officers brought a deputy to our prayer meeting. This deputy was facing a crisis in his marriage and wanted God to change his life. The Lord marvelously saved him and brought healing to his marriage. Recently, a rookie officer began his training with this deputy. When we had our prayer meeting this past week, they both showed up. The rookie was quick to point out that the deputy had not only showed him how to fulfill his law enforcement duties, but had demonstrated righteousness and integrity in his lifestyle. Soon, the rookie led out in prayer. The spiritual impact the deputy had on this rookie was obvious and powerful.

The message of God's Kingdom continues to find its way into open hearts. Recently, the conviction of the Holy Spirit fell in our Clash of Kingdoms Bible study at a local church. We were brought to tears as the Lord graciously exposed the compromises of our divided hearts. Mixture with this world's system has greatly weakened the Western Church but God is preparing a Bride who only has eyes for Him.

UNITED FOR THE KING

As we look back on this past year, we can't help but give glory to God and thanks to those who have supported us. However, in the midst of the victories, we are still facing some major challenges. Next year, we need to reprint two of our books and Molly's CD. There are also some repairs and upgrades to equipment that can no longer be delayed. Individual support is a major concern and needs to be brought up.

Many prefer a year-end gift but others have joined our Dollar-A-Day Club. Anyone can become a member and it only requires a commitment of one dollar a day (less than a cup of coffee) to be paid monthly, bimonthly, or annually. I am asking you to prayerfully consider joining our support team at this modest amount. Several individuals, churches, and businesses have already done so. Just let us know by writing to Bethany Urban Development P.O. Box 8940 Minneapolis, MN 55408.

God bless and have a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ministry Update November 2011

GOD'S BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

We continue to see the Lord move in some amazing ways. It is hard to keep up with everything that is going on and we thank God for the privilege of representing Him and serving others.

Several Bible studies have begun locally using The Clash of Kingdoms. I am particularly excited about one that just started with local law enforcement officers. They seem so hungry to know God more. I just love to see God at work in their lives; to see His fingerprints on what they do.

I am also becoming more involved with critical incidents and death notifications in the area. Unfortunately, many of those who have been traumatized do not personally know the Lord. In every opportunity, I want God to pierce their darkness and bring light and hope to their deepest needs.

Most of the inmates that have come to Christ have been released from jail. Many are now attending worship services and Bible studies. "Jailhouse religion" has given way to genuine conversions with a hunger to go deeper with God. May God raise up an army of transformed prisoners!


DRAW NEAR

After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me." His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means." Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, (John 13:21-26).
"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death." Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me" (Luke 22:31-34).

This verbal exchange took place during the Last Supper. Now it may seem insignificant, but I want you to look closely at the position of the two disciples mentioned. John (the one Jesus loved) was right next to Jesus. I don't believe this was a coincidence. I think John intentionally placed himself in a position where he could hear everything Jesus said - even if He whispered. He also put himself in the best position to speak to Jesus.

Peter, on the other hand, had reclined some distance away. The passage tells us he had to motion for John. For some reason, Peter had positioned himself separate from Jesus and John. As a result, he was too far to hear Jesus' whisper; too far to speak to Him privately. Consequently, Peter's separation forced a dependency on someone closer to Jesus to get the answer he sought.

Perhaps we should give Peter a break. Maybe he just assumed their ministry time was over that day. If so, we shouldn't fault him for focusing on eating, drinking, and talking with his friends. Unfortunately, Peter's assumption crumbled when Jesus had to speak to him over the sound of everyone else. Because of his position, Peter was forced to feel the sting of a public revelation - Satan had him in his crosshairs and Peter would soon deny his Lord three times.

This brief narrative is intriguing and leads us to an important question. As His disciples, where are we positioning ourselves? Are we seated with Christ but still too far to hear what He is saying? Is our position too dependent upon others for answers rather than hearing directly from Him? Is public exposure the only way He can get our attention? If so, we are in a very unhealthy position. Fortunately, we don't have to stay there. There is still a place of intimacy reserved for each one of us. In this position, hearts can be opened effortlessly and the deepest thoughts easily shared. In this critical hour, let us draw ever near to Him and be ready to respond even if He whispers.


THANK YOU!

During this Thanksgiving season, I am reminded of how important you are to us. If you have prayed for our ministry, even once, thank you. If you have written to us, even a simple comment, thank you. If you have given to our ministry, no matter how much, thank you. Every prayer, every comment, and every gift has been a treasure to us. Without you, our ministry would not be where it is today. You have stood with us in the good times and have not left us in the hard times. You have been a friend and a source of encouragement when we've needed it most. Thank you so much for your faithfulness!

May God bless you abundantly in body, soul, and spirit. May His presence bring fresh spiritual revelation to your heart and mind. May He bless your family and those you love. May He lead you into His abundant peace and eternal joy.

And may we, with united and thankful hearts, give glory and honor to the One who sustains and leads us by His everlasting love.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ministry Update - October 2011

HURRY CHILD!

Recently, Molly had a supernatural experience that stirred my spirit and brought me to a new level of spiritual soberness. It happened midday, while she was sitting at home with her six-month old daughter, Esther. What follows is her account.

"I was brought into a room filled with old scrolls. There were hundreds and hundreds of them, all written on and rolled up. As I walked towards the middle of the room, I noticed a very old man sitting at an artist's desk. He appeared focused and did not notice my presence initially. I observed he had one remaining blank page in front of him. When he dipped his pen in an ink well and began to write on this page, he finally looked up at me. His eyes were filled with an intensity so deep that my heart was pierced by his gaze. When he spoke, my whole body began to tremble. He said, "Hurry child........I'm almost done writing!

Never have I been so aware of the shortness of time. Seven and a half years ago, God invaded my life and told me what I needed to hear rather than what I wanted to hear. He did this because there wasn't any more time to mess around with sin or a careless lifestyle. It was now or never. I believe we have all stepped across that threshold........the "now or never" moment of our lives. It is time we listen to what we need to hear rather than what we want to hear. We need to hear that our complacency and trifling ways of life have broken the heart of God. We are guilty of trading times of home prayer and worship for the latest television shows. We have exchanged our spiritual passion for religious mediocrity. We have not made ourselves ready for our Bridegroom.

I want the last words written upon the scrolls of eternity to be of a lovesick Bride that cared only for her Bridegroom. A Bride who did not just acknowledge, but rather surrendered. Who did not just promise, but fulfilled. A Bride, who loved her Bridegroom with all her heart, not just part of it.

True love cannot be turned on and off as we so please. When ignited, it burns with a fire that cannot be quenched and fiercely consumes everything in its path. May God challenge our hearts and lifestyles in such a way that we replace our spiritual dimmer switches for torches of passion so bright and pure, it burns the eyes."


PREPARING THE BRIDE

I have never been more certain that revival is in total alignment with God's will. In times past, we have focused on the spiritual and sociological benefits for individuals, families, and communities. However, in these Last Days, we need to also look at the necessity of revival to prepare the Bride for the Bridegroom.

Recently, I was preparing to teach from "The Clash of Kingdoms." The second chapter mentions the repeated warnings given by God regarding mixture. The problem certainly exists today as the Church appears more than willing to mix the values of two opposing kingdoms in an effort to be successful in both.

I believe mixture often begins with moral dissonance. Many are familiar with cognitive dissonance. An example would be smoking a pack of cigarettes every day while believing it is harmful to your health. In similar ways, many Christians say they have prioritized their spiritual lives but are continually preoccupied with the material world. Despite what we claim, the physical world is our end and the spiritual realm has become our means. If we were honest, most of our Christianity is actually Humanism - where our happiness is the ultimate goal.

Christ came to set us free! This freedom is not just from sin but value systems, mindsets, and lifestyles that have stained our white robes and rendered us irrelevant and ineffective. Despite our past failures, Jesus is offering us today a depth of intimacy that can restore our hearts and eclipse all other loves. His love is still the greatest force in all the universe!

And tho this world with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph thru us.


MINISTRY UPDATE

We have had a very busy month. Here are some of the highlights:

• Our ministry with the officers who serve the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department continues to expand. Plans are underway to start a bible study to augment our weekly prayer meeting.
• We are providing more spiritual counseling in death notifications and crisis incidents.
• B.U.D.'s worship services are increasing in size. More men have been attending from the local rehabilitation center. Many testify of spiritual encounters with God they didn't think were possible.
• Our outreaches with prison inmates have brought many into the Kingdom and created an open heaven in the jail.
• We have increased the number of meetings in various local churches. More bible studies are being formed based on our recent book, "The Clash of Kingdoms."


Final Reminders

• Please let us know how we can pray for you. Thanks also for your faithful prayers for us!
• We are always looking for fresh and powerful worship songs. Let us know if you have any recommendations.
• I would also strongly recommend "The Clash of Kingdoms" along with our other books and CD. Just visit us at www.ardormedia.com.
• Some have joined our "Dollar-a-Day" club. Would you prayerfully consider this simple and affordable means of support? Just respond to this post if you are interested.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ministry Update - September 2011

SEEKING THE WATERS OF BETHLEHEM

The man who would be king had become a fugitive in his own country. Fortunately, in the cave of Adullam, David received support by those who became his mighty men. These valiant warriors were sacrificial, courageous, and loyal. While surrounded by meager accommodations and provisions, David revealed to them a longing in his heart. He shared his desire for the sweet, cool waters of the well in Bethlehem. As a younger man, he had been ruined by its extraordinary flavor and refreshment. No other water tasted quite the same.

The problem was the cost of obtaining this water. Bethlehem had become a Philistine garrison and a person would have to break first through the enemies' ranks in the valley of Rephaim (valley of giants). Consequently, the journey from Adullam to Bethlehem was arduous and dangerous. Anyone who ventured to obtain this special water risked his very life. Amazingly, three unnamed members of David's mighty men caught the vision for this water and successfully brought it to their future king.
Centuries later, a few noble men made the long and difficult journey to Israel. They came in search of another king. These men from the East had seen His star and knew His authority was ordained from above. However, they were not content with the prophecies and signs alone. They were determined to see Him personally. To honor Him; to touch Him; to find favor in His eyes. Their hopes and dreams were finally realized near the well of Bethlehem. The community that contained the best water had now become the birthplace of the living water.

We have heard the statement, "Wise men still seek Him." However, it is much more than that. The Bible reveals the essential elements of vision, tenacity, and sacrifice. While many settle for daydreams and stories, a few will not stop until they taste it for themselves. They won't be satisfied with anything less than a personal encounter. As a result, their lives are often "hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." To them, it goes beyond religious duty; it is the fulfillment of their spiritual destiny. Herald the lovesick warriors of God's end-time army!

"Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:14)


SIGNS OF REFRESHING

We have been seeking God with both friends and family every week for many months. At times, all we do is cry; other times we just kneel speechless before the Lord. Still other moments, we dance as the floodgates of God's joy pour down upon us. We never question if He will come. We never wonder if He will hear us.

The desire for God's presence has become very contagious. The Lord has opened doors for us to pray and worship in other churches, ministries, and even within the sheriff's department. Thirsty people are finding refreshment for their souls. Here are some examples:

•We have been meeting every Tuesday evening at Remnant Ministry Center for worship and prayer. The meetings have increased in both numbers and intensity. Local drug rehabilitation students have also been coming regularly and many are experiencing spiritual breakthroughs. God's presence has become very tangible, as His love touches the deepest areas of our hearts. The testimonies reveal an outpouring of revelation knowledge and spiritual healing.

•Recently, fifteen women prisoners came to our bible study held weekly in the jail. We knew right away that God was up to something. Our discussion was focused on resisting temptations. They seemed to understand it in their heads, but it still didn't seem to sink in the depths of their spirits. We decided to play some music to allow the Spirit to minister to their hearts. The song "I'd Rather Have Jesus" began to play and all the chatter between the women completely stopped. It was total silence. No one could even move a muscle! God's presence was so tangible that you could literally feel the weight of it. When the music ended, these women, who often times race to leave, could not move from their seats. All they could do was weep. They quickly turned from casual observers to desperate seekers. God's presence opened their hearts with love and understanding. What a difference His presence makes!

•We have now started a weekly prayer meeting for the officers in the Sheriff's department. The department is facing pressures of reduced staffing, increased workloads, and family tensions. Through these crises, I have noticed a growing desperation for God.. Officers are coming to Christ and family relationships are being strengthened. Now, a senior officer wants us to begin a bible study for those in the department!


PARTNERS ALERT

Is your world lacking spiritual water? Do you feel far removed from its life-giving supply? If so, please drop us a note and we will pray for you. We would love to help!

Please continue to pray for us also. We need partners who will provide a prayer covering over us. We also need funds for the chaplaincy ministry as well as two laptop computers for our praise and worship services. We are in this together!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ministry Update - August 2011

INCREDIBLE PROVISION

I just have to share a story that has come out of my recent heart attack. When I went to the hospital, I did not have insurance. As a result, I was very concerned about the cost of the emergency medical care I received. Fortunately, while recovering, I was able to minister to a nurse named Annie who was assigned to my room. As a result, she encouraged me to apply for some assistance and helped me through the process.

Upon returning home, I would daily check the mail for any news. I had heard horror stories about the cost of my type of medical procedure. Finally, I received a letter from the hospital and read the first sentence anxiously. They mentioned that they had reviewed my case and determined that "your current household income fails within our income guidelines." Shocked, I had to step back and take a deep breath. This was not what I was hoping to hear.

After a couple of minutes, I picked up the letter again and noticed something. I discovered that the letter was folded at this critical opening sentence causing the words to be a bit obscured. As I read it slowly and carefully, I discovered they were actually saying "your current income falls within our income guidelines." They then went on to say that, as a result, they had adjusted my balance to $0.00.
Relieved and elated, I called them and confirmed the adjustment. I then discovered that this reflected the total doctor and hospital costs, which was $102,721.00! I was now beyond joy. It was an incredible intervention of God's provision. He made a way when there seemed to be no way. He truly is the God of the impossible!


SETTING THE CAPTIVES FREE

When I (Adam) first started out going into the jail, I felt intimidated. I was unsure on how to talk to the inmates. I soon realized the men were a lot like I once was. I found myself being able to talk to them just as if they were everyday people. Many of them were - they had just made some bad choices.

When you meet these men for the first time, they have walls built up. They do not want to share about themselves. I often begin by opening up and revealing who I used to be. That generally breaks the ice. Eventually, I see them open up their hearts and receive the Good News I am sharing. As these men surrender themselves to God, they began to see things in a different way. The men start to hold each other accountable for their language, their actions, and reactions to things.

One of the men was facing sixty-five years in prison and I asked him how he felt about it. He said, "I know God has all things in control, so if I go to prison for sixty-five years then that is where God wants me to be. I will serve Him there or I will serve Him on the outside. God has a purpose for my life." One of the other men recently went to court for sentencing. The Sunday before his court date, we prayed together and at the end, he started to cry. He was afraid of what might be the outcome. He had been accepted at Teen Challenge but the final decision was in the judge's hands.

When I came to visit him the following Sunday he had a big smile on his face. He was sentenced to finish a year in the county jail and then go to Teen Challenge. The morning of his trial, he was praying in his cell while waiting to be brought to court. He opened up his eyes and he could see this brilliant light begin to fill his cell. He looked out the window and there was nothing but clouds and he realized then that God was with him and that He was going to be with him in court that day!! God is so good.


FOOD FOR THE SOUL

My husband Adam and I (Molly) recently felt lead to go on a fast. As we did, we felt a greater awareness of God's presence in our lives. Although this was an amazing experience, I found myself still starving for food when I would get up in the morning. One morning in particular I remember being so hungry that I went downstairs to spend time with God and I cried out, "Lord, I'm starving! Please feed me!"

When I finished uttering those words the Lord said to me, "Molly, that is exactly the state of My people - they are starving." I then felt a strong impression to listen to the Word that I have on CD. As the words echoed through my house, the hunger completely ceased. I was being fed by the Word of God and as a result, felt full and rejuvenated.

I realized that the Lord was describing a spiritual starvation among His people because they have neglected to eat of His Word. There are no substitutions for God's Word. Nothing can replace the sustenance that it brings. A prophetic word cannot maintain us; an encounter cannot fully preserve us, or even an anointing. Just as our bodies need natural food to survive, our spirits must have the food God has given us to be able to reach that all-glorious finish line. This spiritual food is His beautiful and priceless Word that has proven to always be more than enough. May the timeless words of our wondrous Bible be ever-present in our hearts and minds. Then we will not languish in a state of starvation but rather overflow in ministering to others.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ministry Update - July 2011

I want to thank you for your prayers after my recent heart attack. It has made an incredible difference in my life. I recently met with my cardiologist and received permission to add jogging to my walking regime. Currently, I am able to jog two and a half miles in thirty minutes. Not fast, but it's a start - especially since I have not done any serious jogging in the past twenty years. I would love to run a 10K race in a couple of years when I am sixty.


GOD'S KINGDOM EXPANSION

Currently, I am a part of two pastor's prayer coalitions - one in South Minneapolis and one in Brainerd about 100 miles north. You might recall that the South Minneapolis prayer group was begun over five years ago at our Urban Jungle coffee shop.

On Pentecost Sunday (June 12), many of the pastors and their churches gathered for an outreach in Peavey Park located near the corner of East Franklin and Chicago Avenue. There was music, food, and even a prayer booth. For over three hours, Jesus was proclaimed as our risen King. A spirit of unity and power rested on the park the entire time. Several Muslims came and were touched. Many CDs and pieces of literature were also distributed to unbelievers.

During the event, I received a call from a pastor in Brainerd. Tragically, one of the pastors in our Brainerd prayer group had been critically injured in a motorcycle accident after church. I discovered he had been transferred to North Memorial hospital in Minneapolis, not too far from where I was visiting. As I arrived, I was told that Pastor Chip's head injuries had caused all brain activity to cease. I decided to pray regardless and two days later, I returned with three other pastors to pray for him and his family. Although the doctors said there was no brain function, on both occasions, Pastor Chip would grab our hands. Amazingly, this happened only when we prayed.

I thought the experience was quite remarkable. Could it be that our spirit remains active even when our body shuts down (Matt. 26:41)? The following day, Pastor Chip passed away. Perhaps he was trying to tell us that he was doing great in his new surroundings!


MULTIPLICATION THROUGH SUBTRACTION

One day Jesus told His disciples that He would soon be leaving them. They protested this revelation and begged Him to reconsider. In their minds, Jesus' departure could never be a positive step. They looked to Him as their leader and the only one capable of challenging the current political and religious establishment. The disciples saw this new development as an enormous threat to their hopes and dreams.

At the time, the disciples were still not trusting in the dynamics of God's Kingdom. They failed to see that throughout history, this Kingdom was designed to increase not decrease. This was clearly demonstrated in both the physical and spiritual realms (see Gen. 1:22 and 2 Cor. 9:10).

As a result, they missed another key point. Not only does the Kingdom of God increase by design but this increase is often accelerated when there has been a loss. I believe this is a true reflection of the King's nature and character. His heart is always filled with compassion and advocacy. God doubled Job's material possessions after he had suffered severe loss. God multiplied Abraham's descendants after he left his land and family. The early Church experienced exponential growth only after Christ's departure.

When we experience unexpected loss, we need to remind ourselves of the nature and character of the King and His Kingdom. We then need to pray that His Kingdom principles will be fulfilled on earth as it is in heaven. Finally, we need to be looking for an acceleration of expansion of His Kingdom all around us!


LAKES AREA CHAPLAINCY

The ministry at the Sheriff's Department continues to expand with fresh opportunities to serve the officers and staff. Recently, I was invited to attend a monthly training session. We were briefed on appropriate responses to hostage taking and suicide threats. To my surprise, afterwards the head hostage negotiator invited me to be a part of their team!

We now have a separate board consisting of two local pastors and two law enforcement officers overseeing the program. I covet your prayers for the 130 officers and staff who serve in the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department. We also welcome any donations to help expand this new and vital ministry.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ministry Update - June 2011

AN APPOINTMENT WITH DESTINY

An unexpected nurse came to my room early in the morning of May 12. Already awake, I had a sense of providence despite what was ahead. "You will be the first to receive an angiogram today. We'll get you at 7:30," she said politely.

I knew I had experienced a recent heart attack. I also knew that my scheduled procedure would determine the exact location of any blockages in my heart. Angioplasty and stents would then be used to open these passages.

My emotions were conflicted, as I was pleased to get the procedure done early but disappointed that none of my family would arrive in time. So there I was lying alone and silent at the Minneapolis Heart Institute in South Minneapolis. God plus no one. Strangely, it seemed appropriate. In my place of crisis, there was only one familiar face. Even as I lay helpless, on the edge of life and death, He would never leave me.

I began to consider how often angels are dispatched to help those in similar situations. As unseen caregivers, they have provided tremendous blessings to countless people. Despite this, I somehow knew that Jesus had decided to come to me personally. All I could say was "I want to give you my heart - my damaged, broken physical heart." Suddenly, I saw Him holding it and knew He had accepted my request. Overwhelmed with thankfulness, I said, "From now on, it only beats for you."

Soon the hospital staff arrived and I went in for the dangerous procedure. Amazingly, in Operating Room Seven, I had seven stents placed in my arteries. The operation was more extensive than anticipated but it was perfect. His heart was now beating in my chest.

Although I have served Christ for nearly forty years, the experience ushered me into a deeper level of union with Him. Ironically, I had given Him my physical life but escaped death's sting. As a result, I received a greater sense of my spiritual destiny on earth.

The next morning, I looked out the window of my recovery room and observed a surprisingly familiar church steeple emerging from the rooftops. I then checked the time and realized my Christian coworkers were having their weekly prayer meeting precisely at that moment. I then realized God had divinely orchestrated the time and place I would stay in the hospital. His love and the love of His servants just overwhelmed me.

When I was finally released from the hospital, I recalled something my daughter had shared with me a couple of months ago. While praying, she saw my life in the form of a book. This book had many interesting chapters but she was surprised to discover several blank pages at the very end. The Lord then revealed to her that they were extra pages He was giving me. Without my awareness of an imminent heart attack, God had already determined to extend my life.

By His grace, I am now able to expand my work as chaplain of Crow Wing County. I am able to continue to spread His Kingdom message through books and teaching. I am able to continue my ministry to my friends and family. I am able to complete God's will for my life!



WINNING THE HAND OF RACHEL

One of the greatest love stories in the Bible is revealed in Genesis 29. Young Jacob was smitten by beautiful Rachel and desired her more than anyone else in this world. Consequently, Jacob was willing to pay anything to have her as his bride.

Rachel's father, Laban, took full advantage of Jacob's love by demanding seven years of hard labor for her hand. Even at this steep price, the Bible tells us Jacob agreed because "they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her" (Gen. 29:20).

Besides the labor contract, Laban deceived Jacob by switching Rachel for her older sister Leah on their wedding night. The next morning, Jacob was shocked and saddened by the appearance of Leah. He insisted Rachel be given to him according to their agreement. Laban defended his actions by claiming their customs require the older daughter must be married before the younger daughter.

Despite the injustice, Jacob agreed to work another seven years for Rachel. As a result, she finally became Jacob's bride. The narrative serves as a wonderful testimony of a young man's deep and irrepressible devotion for the woman of his dreams despite unexpected hardships and obstacles.


Many Christians were once captivated by a beautiful Rachel. Perhaps she was a longing for renewal in our church, a dream of revival in our community, or a vision for foreign missions. At one time, this yearning transcended all other desires. We were willing to pay any price for her. Like Jacob, fulfilling the dream involved many years of hard work and sacrifice. Unfortunately, when we anticipated success, we often experienced discouragement, disappointment, and injustice. At that point, tragically, many of us did something we never imagined we would do - we decided to settle for Leah.

Rather than fighting on, we settled down. We took what was common rather than what was exceptional. We went with something more reasonable and obtainable. Our compromise did not fulfill the original dream but it became a safe alternative.

Ironically, Leah bore Jacob six sons while Rachel produced only two. Leah gave Jacob fruitfulness and abundance while Rachel died in the birth of her second son. Leah appeared to be the more productive wife for Jacob but she was still not the God-given dream - that could only be Rachel.

Is there a Rachel remaining to be won in your life? Has God given you a dream that is yet to be fulfilled? If so, don't lose heart. Don't give up. Don't settle for less. She is still worth the price. In our remaining years, let us pursue our God-given destinies for His glory and the expansion of His Kingdom!



The Clash of Kingdoms Coming to Amazon!

The Clash of Kingdoms will soon be available through many outlets on the Internet. We trust this expanded distribution will help others pursue their spiritual destiny and bring His Kingdom to this earth.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ministry Update - May 2011

STEPS TO TRANSFORMATION

Many years ago, I remember ministering in Los Banos, CA. We were a team of young zealous Christians that believed God could transform a small city. While there, I remember the number one drug supplier became a Christian through our efforts. My first convert was a Satanist. In one year, many troubled youth came to Christ through our various local outreaches. One young man, Robert Duran, remains a close friend. The impact on the community was substantial. According to local police statistics, overall crime dropped 23.5% while juvenile crime dropped 38%!

Now I find myself relocated to northern Minnesota and ministering in a community similar in size to Los Banos. Brainerd has been hit particularly hard by the recent recession. Unemployment has been near twenty percent. Every year, long winters give way to a summer party atmosphere that creates more trouble for this fragile tourist area. Numerous bars continue to feed the chronic alcohol problem. The area has faced deep spiritual darkness but the dawn is beginning to break.

In the past, I have mentioned the weekly pastor's prayer group. This gathering has fostered a city-reaching and kingdom expanding vision for the community. One of the results is that several congregations recently came together for a Good Friday service. Only the local high school was large enough to accommodate the over 2600 participants. That is twenty percent of the city's population! The service was beautiful and powerful. Jesus was lifted up and we were drawn closer together.

However, God is also reaching out to those outside of His flock. Recently, a sheriff's deputy was called to the scene of a local family in crisis. The deputy successfully stabilized the situation but knew it needed follow up. Since the deputy was a Christian, he called me to help lead this family to the only one who could heal their broken hearts.

Normally, my ministry is directed to the sheriff's officers and staff. However, in this situation, I agreed to meet with the family. I asked one of the local pastors from our prayer group to accompany me on the follow up. As we met with the couple, God marvelously used the pastor to minister into their lives. Tears flowed as the power of God brought hope and direction. They responded with openness, a desire to attend church, and receive marriage counseling. It was a clear example of how law enforcement, the chaplaincy, and the local churches can work together to transform our community.

I LOVE YOU MORE

A tribute to my mom on Mother's Day -

To see my radiant mother today, you would never think she went through such hard times in her life. I love her wisdom, her joy, her zeal for God and her unction that is so contagious. What I love most about her though, is her journey. A journey that is a testimony to all who travel her same road and never stop walking..........

My mother suffered for many years when I was far away from the Lord. I am sure there were many days she could barely get out of bed. Many nights she cried herself to sleep and other nights she stayed up as long as it took to make sure I was safe at home. Her constant prayer to the Lord was, "Please, just give my daughter one more day." Through all the fears, all the doubts, and all the hurts, she kept on walking for me.

I imagine she may have uttered the same words our dear Savior whispered within His heart with every step He took for us. "Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal" (John 12: 24-25 MSG).

Though darkness tried to overtake her, with each step planted, she was able to declare the notable line in the movie, Fireproof, "I love you more." My mother made a decision one day; a choice that would change her life and my life forever. She decided to die, but not just a quick easy death. She walked a long, difficult, and often lonely road. Her footsteps of suffering paved the way for the footsteps of my victories. She had to die to her uncertainties, her pride, and her own ambitions so that I would find life. She chose to love me more.

Now as a mother of a teenager and three younger children, I more understand my mother's love and sacrifice. Consequently, when I face situations in my life that test my commitment to God and family, I find myself taking one more step and whispering, "I love you more."

Thank you mom for loving me more!

~ Molly

ESTABLISHING A KINGDOM CULTURE

We continue to see many positive effects from our book, The Clash of Kingdoms. As a result, we have decided to write a study guide that will assist many of those who want to teach the principles found in the book. If you have not obtained a copy of The Clash of Kingdoms, do so now below and help expand the Kingdom that cannot be shaken!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ministry Update - April 2011

FRESH FIRE!

Remnant Ministry Center in Brainerd, MN has hosted three or our Spiritual Well-Digging services this past month. The local Teen Challenge center joined members of the church for an evening of worship, prayer, and intimate encounters with God. There were confessions of sin, fresh spiritual revelations, and a deeper burden for the community.

Remnant Ministry Center has also been hosting a weekly prayer meeting for many of the local pastors. Two of these pastors serve on the board of our Lakes Area Chaplaincy. This month, all of these pastors and their congregations will be uniting in a Good Friday Service at the local high school. "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" (Ps. 133:1).

TRANSITIONS

Recently, I received a call from one of the Sheriff's deputies. He had been dispatched to deliver a death notification to an elderly couple who had just lost their only child. The deputy asked if I would be willing to assist him in this difficult assignment.

Even though I had been trained for this type of ministry, it was my first opportunity to actually serve in this capacity. My heart and mind were filled with potential reactions and needed responses. Above all, I wanted the couple to experience God's grace. Fortunately, as the notification unfolded, I was able to witness His love touch this couple as they faced probably the most difficult day in their lives. As their pastor joined us, it was encouraging to know God can carry our heaviest burdens.

This past month, we also experienced the arrival of the newest member of our family. Esther Hadassah Vanheel was born on Sunday, March 27. She is doing great as well as the rest of her family. I can only imagine the plans and purposes that God has for our little Esther. Like her namesake in the Bible, may she enjoy a deep, personal relationship with her King. May she always put His plans and purposes before her own desires and may He use her to be a source of help for the nation!

AND THE LORD REMEMBERED HER - Molly Vanheel

One of the greatest desires of a woman's life is to bear a child. This is often not suddenly decided upon but intricately planned out in their hearts and minds. Once established, the yearning fills their every moment. They speak and dream about it often. They even cry out in desperation for it. They refuse to be denied no matter how bleak the circumstances appear. There was a woman in the Bible who understood this desperation.

Hannah prayed year after year for a child but remained barren. In addition, Elkanah's other wife Peninnah, would often mock her condition. Even her own husband asked why he was not enough for her. Why did she desire more? I am sure the comments only added to her pain as she continued to cry out to God.

Many years later, a woman anointed Jesus with a very expensive perfume. The perfume did not just give a pleasing fragrance but reflected a broken life's journey to the feet of her God. Tragically, like Hannah, her love and desperation were ridiculed. The disciples exclaimed, "Why this waste?" However, Jesus declared that her story would never be forgotten. He knew her desperation was an example of what true intimacy and love is.

I recently bore our fourth child. This baby was especially significant, as we had lost a baby only a year before. Prior to the miscarriage, I had been crying out to God for another child. Like Hannah, when I found out I was pregnant I was overjoyed. However, when we lost the baby a few weeks later, I felt so defeated. I wanted to give up but a portion of a song kept resonating in my heart,

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

While in labor with our little Essie, God spoke many comforting things to me but one scripture passage stood out above all the rest. As Esther's birth was nearing, the Lord clearly spoke to my heart, "and the Lord remembered her" (1 Sam. 1:19). God showed me, as He did with Hannah and the woman with the costly perfume, that our desperation is never a waste. He remembered and He answered. Even though holding my little promise was such a blessing, the true gift from my God, is that He remembered me. My tears, my prayers, my pleas, were not wasted, but remembered.

JOIN THE REFORMATION!

Over the years, I have been a pastor, teacher, and done the work of an evangelist. I have started a ministry and I have ended another. I have been involved in many spiritual causes but perhaps the least of which is giving a prophetic word.

The message of this book is a prophetic call to the Western Church. In these last days, it is critical we have a clear understanding of our role in earth's greatest battle. The future of our world is at stake. Join others who have responded to the call by reading The Clash of Kingdoms.

"Steve Harrison helps us understand what the Kingdom is and its importance in his book The Clash of Kingdoms. Until we understand being a "Christian" as not primarily about changing behaviors, but more importantly about changing kingdoms, we will continue to be inept in our evangelism and discipleship efforts. To that end, The Clash of Kingdoms gives a voice to the necessity of just such a change. Steve writes with a simple personal style that belies an adroit handling of the information. Not only did I quote part of his book in my sermon during a Lenten service based on John 3:1-17, but I am also planning on using his book during Wednesday night services and for a Sunday School class." ~ Pastor

"I have read your book twice. The first time I was inspired, the second time I was overwhelmed. I was thrilled to see the confirmation of things I had already noticed in today's churches and then challenged by my own lack of prayer and bible study. Your book has shined a bright light that has caused me to reevaluate just how I spend my spare time and how I seek Him. The greatest cry of my heart has been to draw closer to God. Your book has just increased that desire." ~ Single Woman

"Steve Harrison's book, The Clash of Kingdoms, is like a splash of cold water upon the consciences of Christians everywhere, especially in this country. He points out how we, as the Body of Christ, must concentrate upon fulfilling the Great Commission. This book will cause you to rethink your witness to a sin-soaked world. The Clash of Kingdoms will bless you immeasurably as you read it prayerfully, with an open mind. I believe Steve's book is a must read for the Christian Church." ~ Pastor

Order now at ardormedia.com All proceeds help support the ministry of Bethany Urban Development

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ministry Update - March 2011

COUNTY CHAPLAINCY RESTORED!

After years of inactivity, the Sheriff's Chaplaincy Program in Crow Wing County has been reestablished. I have met with the sheriff, deputies, and jail staff along with the board overseeing the previous program. Other chaplains from neighboring counties have provided invaluable assistance. I have received specialized training in death notification and some preliminary training in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. This is a big step for Bethany Urban Development especially because the program was not funded by the county.

The spiritual potential is enormous and I continue to see God's favor in the reestablishment of this ministry. The population of Crow Wing County is 60,000 but because it is a vacation area for many Twin Cities residents, it typically triples in size during the summer. It contains nearly a thousand square miles and is home to several municipalities including Baxter, Brainerd, Breezy Point, Crosby, Deerwood, Crosslake, Nisswa, and Pequot Lakes.

The Sheriff Department's impact on the county and local municipalities is huge. I am convinced that God has strategically opened this door of ministry for the sake of those serving in the Sheriff's Department and the citizens and visitors of Crow Wing County. May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

THE BREATH OF GOD

We find in Genesis that "the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being" (Gen .2:7). Surprisingly, God didn't bring life into Adam with a word or even a touch but by His very breath. This breath came from deep inside of Him. More than bringing forth life, this breath deposited His life into the deepest parts of Adam's being. This made man unique in all of God's creation.

Tragically, the human race turned from God and resisted His efforts to bring life into their lives. The Scriptures reveal that "The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain" (Gen. 6:6). According to Wycliffe, this passage reveals that God's heart-rending disappointment produced a divine gasp. Humanity's sin had caused God to experience a shortness of breath.

When Jesus began His ministry, it was with divine purpose and direction. Faithfully, He preached a message of restoration with our Creator. Lovingly, He demonstrated our need for His life. Finally, upon Calvary's cruel cross He "called out with a loud voice, 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.' When he had said this, he breathed his last" (Luke 23:46).

Remarkably, death and the grave could not contain Him. The tomb was now empty, but sadly, so were the hearts and hopes of Christ's disciples. As they huddled in fear, their pitiful condition was suddenly shattered by the appearance of the resurrected Son of God. Immediately, overwhelming relief and joy filled their once-trembling hearts.

However, something else happened at that moment. What Jesus did next was simply amazing. The Scriptures reveal that He "breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (John 20:22). What had been tragically interrupted with the fall of humanity was now dramatically restored. Because of Christ's sacrifice, God's breath could now flow freely into those yielded to Him.

This spiritual dynamic reminds me of an unforgettable encounter I had with God several years ago. While praying with a Christian brother, we became overwhelmed with God's presence. The Lord continued to remain for an extended period of time. As He did, I remember His voice calling out to us, "Breathe Me in!"

Now I know why.

This is His everlasting desire and our eternal purpose.

THE CLASH OF KINGDOMS IS HERE!

We are excited to announce that The Clash of Kingdoms is now available. I believe this message is critical to the Church at this challenging time in our history. Who will awaken the slumbering Bride? What will rekindle her love for the Bridegroom? Will she arise to her destiny for such a time as this?

Today, we face unprecedented challenges to our Christian faith. Many of these threats are obvious but the most dangerous ones are unseen or unknown. In The Clash of Kingdoms, we expose the most powerful kingdom threatening the Church today. We look at how it has infiltrated the Western Church creating a contaminated religious culture. We also explore the power and majesty of God's unshakable Kingdom that offers an amazing remedy.

On the day of Pentecost, something happened that went beyond revival. There was a reformation of mind and heart. These young believers became citizens of a different Kingdom. They discovered a revolutionary way of life. As a result, they turned the world upside down or should I say right side up. They possessed a power that comes from seeing the world from God's Kingdom perspective.

The Clash of Kingdoms presents biblical principles often forgotten or neglected in our church culture. By rediscovering our New Testament mandate, we will be empowered to fulfill our spiritual destiny. "Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken" (Heb. 12:28 RSV).

Order your copies now at ardormedia.com

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ministry Update - February 2011

THE CLASH OF KINGDOMS - AN INTRODUCTION

I am a product of the Jesus People Movement. In 1972, I came face to face with biblical Christianity. It did not compromise or cater to my self-serving lifestyle. It was radically relevant. Soon after, I joined a ministry called the Agape Force and moved near Keith Green, Leonard Ravenhill, Winkie Pratney, and David Wilkerson in East Texas. For sixteen years, I enjoyed the privilege of helping ministry teams and centers throughout the United States. I witnessed the transforming power of the gospel shake my generation.

During this time, God deposited a passion for revival that has never left. This passion led my family and me to move into the urban core of South Minneapolis in 1998. There, we began Bethany Urban Development. Our focus was on rescuing heroin addicts, homeless alcoholics, and refugees trapped in false religions.

While living in this at-risk neighborhood, I became acutely aware of the spiritual darkness oppressing those trapped in the city. I became obsessed with a desire to see God's Kingdom come to the places of greatest need. As a result, we started a prayer coalition consisting of key church and ministry leaders of the area. We saw many positive results, but a prevailing darkness seemed to thwart any major breakthroughs.

Finally, in our desperation, God led our ministry to do something so simple but so profound. He said, "I do not want you to pursue prayer as an activity or an event. I want your prayers to become a lifestyle." His words led us to nightly prayer sessions that became the focus of our ministry. These prayer times led to many miracles and spiritual revelations. As a result, we began to disengage from this world's system. We felt more in rhythm with His heart than ever before. We had a greater sense of our spiritual destiny.

In John 16:13, Jesus describes the ministry of the Holy Spirit: "He will tell you what is yet to come." God does not want His people to be caught unawares. He knows where He is going and what is coming. I believe God is currently preparing all His followers for a life different from what we have known.

Just like the Children of Israel before they entered the Promise Land, so we are being called into a season of preparation and consecration. The Lord is getting us ready for the greatest spiritual harvest in history but it can only happen when we receive a clearer understanding of Him and the ways of His Kingdom.

THE HEZEKIAH SYNDROME

King Hezekiah was a man who did "what was right in the eyes of the Lord" (2 Kings 18:3). Because of his earnest prayers, God delivered Judah from the Assyrians and even delivered Hezekiah from a life-threatening disease. (see 2 Kings 20:4-6).

Shortly after his illness, King Hezekiah received an official delegation from Babylon. He was more than happy to show these envoys his royal treasury, thinking Babylon possessed no threat to his kingdom. Nevertheless, the local prophet, who walked in communion with God, saw the unseen danger: Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the Lord: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord" (2 Kings 20:16-17).

Tragically, Hezekiah responded to the threat with self-serving indifference. "'The word of the LORD you have spoken is good," Hezekiah replied. For he thought, 'Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?'" (2 Kings 20:19). In other words, Hezekiah was preoccupied with maintaining his comfortable lifestyle.

The kingdom of Babylon is still around, and I believe it poses an even graver danger to the Church. Part of its strength comes from our miscalculation of its current and future intentions. In many minds, the danger is simply minimized or ignored. We have often chosen coexistence over confrontation. As a result, Babylon is carrying off our biblical values and replacing them with its own.

True Christianity places people into strategic positions. True Christians will see things others do not. They will clearly mark their boundaries, lifestyle, and values. They will demonstrate a superior way of living through their words and deeds. Like the prophets of old, their eyes and ears are in tune with God's. They see things in the heavenlies and they pull them down to earth. They are locked into His plans and purposes regardless of the cost. They are a voice in the wilderness that is penetrating this world's system with the transforming power of His Kingdom.

RELEASE DATE: MARCH 2, 2011

The Clash of Kingdoms is the third and final installment of the Warrior Bride Series. It is written for those who want to fulfill their spiritual destiny more than living a comfortable lifestyle. It is for those who want to discover the keys to true spiritual transformation. It is for those who want to be a voice and not an echo in this generation.

Order your copies now at ardormedia.com.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ministry Update - January 2011

I HAVE NOW COME!

As Joshua and his army approached Jericho, a surprising visitor met him on the road. This warrior confronted Joshua with a drawn sword. He was armed and ready to fight. Joshua asked, '"Are you for us or for our enemies?'

'Neither,' he replied, 'but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come'" (Josh. 5:13-14). His answer was a vivid reminder that the Lord does not represent or fight for any Kingdom but His own. This will never change.

The warrior's declaration "I have now come" also reminds me of a story I heard several years ago. There was a pastor who constantly prayed, "Lord, send revival; send revival." But nothing changed. He grew more desperate, "Lord, send revival; send revival." But still no answer. Finally, as he continued to cry out, the Lord spoke something so simple yet so profound, "I don't send revival, I come!"

For God to come, we must consider what happened before Joshua's encounter. God had just renewed His covenant with His people at Gilgal. Through forming an altar and reinstituting circumcision, the Children of Israel had reestablished their love commitment to the Lord. As they did, the Lord declared, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you" (Josh. 5:9). This declaration revealed that the Hebrews had finally disengaged from the world's system. They also celebrated the Passover to remember the Lord's faithfulness. They were now armed for battle and anxious to fulfill their God-given mandate to take the land.

I have hungered for a culture-changing move of God since experiencing it in 1972. At times, this burden has overwhelmed and consumed me. I know it is God's desire to come to us. I know He has come to other parts of the world. I know what brought the Lord to Joshua and Children of Israel applies to us today. We may think we have been waiting for Him but actually, He has been waiting for us. Waiting for our whole hearts. Waiting for us to let go of this world. Waiting for us to submit to His ways of doing His work.

NEW MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY

Recently, in one of our prayer meetings, I had an unusual impression. I sensed the need to contact the local police department and offer my services as a chaplain. It seemed farfetched so I put it off - until the next prayer meeting. Then again the impression came. I became more certain I needed to follow through but still avoided any action for several days.

Finally, I dropped by the city hall to ask where the police department was located. Ironically, they said they no longer had a police department but had contracted the nearby community to handle their police duties. After some consideration, I decided to go to the neighboring police department and asked to speak to the chief.

She came out and I briefly explained my offer. To my surprise, she suggested I contact the sheriff's department for the entire county. That was neither what I expected to hear nor what I was seeking to do. However, after a few days, I decided to contact the sheriff's department and left a message for the deputy sheriff. Since I didn't get an immediate response, I concluded that the whole effort was not going to bear fruit anytime soon.

However, not long after, I did receive a call from the deputy sheriff. She had heard my message and asked to meet with me as soon as possible. I soon discovered that the county's chaplaincy program had been recently discontinued and they were anxious to reinstitute it. Ironically, I could not have contacted them at a better time. Since the initial meeting with the deputy sheriff and captain of the county jail, I have met with the sheriff and municipal police chiefs of several communities in the county. So far, everything seems open for an expanded B.U.D. involvement in the county.

I shared this development with some local pastors. They were surprised and said they have tried to work with the sheriff's department for years without success. We were praying to have an impact in our community but never expected God would open doors for us to have an influence on the entire county!

COMING SOON: THE CLASH OF KINGDOMS

After some anxious delays, The Clash of Kingdoms will finally be released in a few weeks. We are so excited about getting it in the hands of people who hunger for a culture-changing move of God. I believe He is speaking today with fresh passion and clear direction. I also believe we are on the threshold of an unprecedented demonstration of His power and love. Already God is calling out and preparing modern-day Elijahs and John the Baptists to prepare the way of our coming King.

I am convinced we must reevaluate our current Christian culture and traditions. We must let go of mindsets and lifestyles that more reflect the kingdom of this world than the Kingdom of our God. We cannot continue to do church the way we have done it in the past and expect different results.

If we seek His face and are open to His ways, then He will give us fresh insights to His plans and our role in them. If we submit to His agenda, no amount of spiritual darkness or physical challenges can stop us. We were destined to fly with Him and the wind is starting to blow.