Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ministry Update - January 2012

I am tremendously excited about 2012. There just seems to be so much spiritually going on. I believe we've entered a new season and God is speaking loudly to His Bride and this nation. We have sensed this daily at Bethany Urban Development. Recently, Molly had another dramatic encounter with the Lord. Rather than transcribe the entire account, I am providing the first part in print and then an audio link so you can hear Molly share the conclusion.

A NEW SEASON

I went to my special spot one morning to spend time with the Lord but when I arrived, He wasn't there. I began to call for Him, but there was no response. "Where are you my God? I must find You!" As I sought for Him, my heart's longing became more intense. I finally found Him sitting on the edge of a cliff, overlooking a vast city. As I approached Him, I cried out, "There You are! I have been looking for you!" He did not turn towards me nor respond with words. All He did was weep. I looked once again at the city that stole His gaze and then back at Him. After what seemed like hours, His tears were finally interrupted by one momentous statement whispered from His lips. "This is the last time I am going to see so many of them ever again."

Word has come to our country of foreign cities and lands that have been spiritually transformed. With what might have started as a visitation eventually became a habitation of His tangible and genuine presence. Those who have cried out to God, in these countries, are like the parable of the person who persistently knocked on their friend's door at midnight until their request was answered (see Luke 11:5-8). They didn't want God just to come but to remain.

We, in the United States have responded to these dramatic testimonies by asking that God do the same here. We hope and trust that our time will come. In our efforts to boost faith in the promises of God, we have neglected to see that He has already visited us. Repeatedly He has showered mercy and grace upon our country, our communities, our churches, and our homes. God's pure and unconditional love has been unceasing, as He has faithfully poured out His promised Spirit upon us. Unfortunately, our response to His visitations has notconstrained Him to remain. Real revival has always been more than getting close to God. We have held Him, but we have also let Him go.

Centuries ago, Pharaoh had a dream of an extended season of abundance. Our country has been in that season. We have experienced plenty both physically and spiritually. Encounter after encounter through meetings and conferences have left us with more than enough to sustain ourselves and even share with others. Our problem is; we have not heeded the warning contained in the other half of Pharaoh's dream. Young Joseph warned Egypt's ruler that following the years of plenty, there would be years of deprivation. To avoid starvation and death, they were to store up during times of prosperity.

We have been cautioned repeatedly to do the same. God has been desperately trying to open our eyes to the absolute necessity of a deeper relationship with Him. He has been crying out for us to dig spiritual reservoirs that would sustain us during times of drought. Sadly, we have carelessly squandered away the heavenly rains and rippling rivers through bartering them for worthless junk. We are as the Israelites who "exchanged their Glory for worthless idols" (Jer. 2:11). I believe we have now entered the second season in Pharaoh's dream; a time where what we have stored up is all we will have. How much we heeded the cries of our God will now be tried in the valleys of barren rivers and brassy skies.

Select link for audio conclusion (5:44)
http://ardormedia.podbean.com/mf/web/7sr5q7/ANewSeasonPart2.mp3

CALLING ALL MEN!

It doesn't seem so long ago when the churches in America were attended by a majority of women. Men would occasionally come but it was typically the women who were volunteering in the church and taking the spiritual lead at home. Recently, I have begun to see a change in this scenario. More and more, I see husbands desperate for God and fathers becoming responsible spiritual coverings in their families. This appears to be happening in several local churches. Pastors are taking note and helping encourage and strengthen these men. As their lives change, their families begin to experience the benefits.

Much of my recent work as the Sheriff's chaplain has been helping Christian officers become greater examples in their homes. Many of them have non-Christian wives but remain committed to weekly Bibles studies and prayer. We are witnessing families coming into alignment with God's design. As fathers take their place as spiritual leaders and mothers provide spiritual nurturing and care, children have the best opportunity to grow up loving God and respecting the sacred institution of family.

GREAT NEWS!

Consuming Love, the first book in our Warrior Bride Trilogy, has recently been published in Korean. We are excited to see the message of God's consuming love become more universally accessible. I believe Korea is a key nation in God's plans and purposes. If you are interested in owning a copy or know someone who would appreciate the book as a gift, just let us know.