Thursday, November 12, 2009

analytical soil

thinking of many things to say about this trip. i was blown away by the magnitude of acceptance. i really have thought a lot of how europeans would accept the fact that some americans, more importantly texans, would come over to belgium and save it. well maybe not those exact words because who are we kidding here, texans aren't going to save anyone but themselves, right? i was thinking about this and it was important to me not to have any "dude with a tude" type of mentality to think i had what europe needs. i know i am not going to BRING jesus to belgium, because he is already there. i believe awareness is the key. this is, actually, what our focus was this trip. as i was returning home i was concentrating on the report brought back to the states. it means everything to our future. i want to be the spy who brings back the good report of the land about to be invaded. jeff serio said it right that it will be similar to plowing concrete but whatever analogy you want to use something is ready and needing to happen or break or whatever. so allow me to be one of the spies who brings the report of the harvest in europe.

1. it's ready
while ministering in the conference the team and i were able to pretty much prophecy over everyone in our workshops. even with a dismissal (the workshop was technically over) the young minds and hearts were there and still engaged. this tells me something. one of the many observations made was of the young person who wanted to cry, sing out, laugh, or pray, but was noticeably judging the effect of such an action. it makes me wonder if there has been a legitimate scolding from spiritual authority or if this is just the natural occurrence of a generation who has not been feeding their soul it's "proper" nourishment. it's hard to admit this for me, seeing as i like to find the root issue in dysfunction, but it doesn't matter. and i think the adversary would enjoy those investing their time in the harvest of europe to run in circles trying to find out which came first the chicken or the egg! but the truth is that work is needed, and laborers are few. where are the laborers in the land now? they are there. or the one's that made the first wave are there still but are strangely aimless. i am not sure why, and i am definitely not judging their work. they laid a seed bed that will be harvested by future harvesters. maybe that is ninth hour, maybe that is you, maybe that is someone in the future, i am not certain at this point. there is a remnant and the desire is there, or the desire to blossom and bring to fruition is there and the harvest is unable to continue in its growth because like a rose pedal it must be cut and pruned in order to grow again in greater proportion. that is how i view the current state in europe or more specifically belgium.

2. it's cancerous
as insensitive as that word may be it provides the shocking idea of the flow of these small cells i would like to refer to as the remaining remnant. even within the conference, i noticed the cancerous possibility of a group of young people who could mobilize their efforts to gain divine momentum. make no mistake, there are those in europe who are hungry and are praying. possibly what they have been praying and seeking god for is what ninth hour comes to bring. it would be very arrogant for me to really say that, but to believe it in my heart and mind is another story. i was approached by a few, who had heard, that there was a house of prayer being started in brussels and they had expressed much interest in helping and being apart. these individuals were not just teenagers but young and old alike. talk about exciting! i see it starting as awkward 2 hour intimate prayer and worship meetings with individuals who are only linked by a common desire to see god move in belgium. growing from this, i envision individual experiences that are hardly containable to our little prayer gathering.

3. it's undefinable
i mean this in the strictest sense that there is a deep, deep drive to pursue the harvest, yet all strategies remain divinely appointed. while we had meetings with key figures the common question was "how are you going to do this?" i wonder if others who have since left and been successful have been able to mark key strategies and define it as absolute. i wouldn't think anyone would have the guts to say, if successful, that they are were they are because they had some great ideas or it was because of them. i hope my point is getting across. ninth hour's hunger is there. i hunger for what i am unable to see at this point in belgium and beyond but i am sure for anything to happen it must start with "no-bodies" and end just the same. i think this particular "undefinable" characteristic is synonymous with the generations represented. this is what is so amazing about how god has moved so richly for the generations at our church and this deep seeded passion has not left those members of ninth hour. nathan received a word from the lord on the way to belgium concerning this generational involvement. it was concerning what joel had said about the old men dreaming dreams and the young men with vision. i am paraphrasing but it went like this...the old men dream dreams, and without the old men dreaming those dreams the young men CANNOT carry vision, and our purpose is to provide service and vision to those in the land of belgium who have longed and dreamed for revolution, we will lose the vision if we don't serve the older generation's dreams. it was great because our meetings all contained men AND women who are well established in their faith in god and are so ready for this to happen and are so ready to support us as we come to serve those things they have had on their hearts for a very long time. i believe ultimately god desires and WILL appoint those who are not in it to make an impression for their name. you can try and build huge crusades and monumental conferences while getting amazing speakers but i don't think that is for belgium. a contrite and humble heart is a better approach.

i am not desiring to make a model and dissect it to gain a marketing tool for success. most, if not everything, will happen i believe as suddenly as "a sound like a rushing wind" passing through our midst. change will happen, change will occur and if i am to be the one to help push this along then great (however, my heart is anxious to do so) but if not then lord may it come and may it come quickly.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

cj 2009

my desires were simple...make an impact that will not part at the doors but be a plant that produces fruit. i hope, in my thinking and understanding, that this fruit would be manifested and ready quickly. realistically, or ideally, when a plant has been surrounded by weeds for so long and the choking of truth has been so prevalent, the labor is intense. i'm determined, however, and my heart had quickly gained a burden it needed to release within the few days we (nathan, jon v., al) had been able to minister at this gathering of young people. the set up of all the equipment was no less important in our desire to touch this generation and grab a hold of them. one major drawback was that our wives were not present with us this year and all three of them have a keen eye for decor. i really missed my wife liz on this trip and knew as i lay in bed praying for her every night that she was not meant to minister in another environment than i. i always knew this but oh, how the mind needs constant reminders of the wonders of god's direction through small little gaps in the every day flow of things.

my anticipation was that i would meet many on their level, at their experiences with life at the cj. i was hoping that every single young person would gain a life changing experience. my teaching reflected this hope.

day 1:
nathan and our good friend matt lankenau, from the ei in berlin taught in the workshop. their teachings focused on an awakened heart. i knew this is exactly what god was speaking to me as well as stirring it in me before i set foot on the land. in my perspective, being awakened, or not being awakened, is not a sin. however, there is a natural consequence to not having a focus on god's heart and what the spirit is saying...because it constantly is, or doing...because it constantly is. i think the natural inclination is that of satisfaction of our soul's longing. we, as a generation and culture, are neck deep and saturated in alternative cures and fulfillments. because of our saturation a change from the inside out is required. we couldn't, even in our own strength combat the principalities and darkness in the first place without the same spirit that was present in jesus and raised him from the dead.

day 2:
al and i spoke and my key point was a change that educated us to drink from the living well of god's unchanging love so that our purpose, identity, and joy will be able to respond well, whether our life's circumstances are going great or not. before i spoke, the day earlier, i had struck up a conversation with a young teen (16/17) about where she was from and what she wanted to get from the conference. we began discussing the gospel and i asked her how many of her friends serve jesus as she does. she could not name one. shocking yet real. i noticed a problem with her legs as she came in and sat down. this issue forces her to walk with crutches to brace herself. i asked her if anyone has prayed over her, and when the last time she prayed over herself. she answered back that it has been years. she couldn't even remember. she told me that she had surgery on her legs and that the doctors messed up and it resulted in this lifelong trauma. needless to say i was crushed. i had no idea what to say or ask, so i said, "why do you think god has not healed you yet?" she responded, "i don't have enough faith." i was heartbroken and knew that the enemy had fed her this lie to distract her from god's undivided love for her. i told her that was a lie and that god wanted her healed. i encouraged her that even though we may not see change on the outside, god most definitely is doing something, it just may be on the inside. she teared up and then confessed to bitterness and anger at the doctors. she also confessed to unforgiveness and bitterness towards god for not doing anything about it. i know god is far my concerned with the condition of her heart, but how do you reveal that to someone in such a condition without coming off as insensitive? this is the condition of millions of young people alike, across europe. individuals who are harboring a cold, bitter, and unforgiving heart, who are far more satisfied with the "slavery in egypt" than the "liberation of the cross" through sanctification in the promised land. meanwhile, i knew god was doing something on the inside of her as we had the whole team and those in our workshop lay hands on her and pray. the next day at the night service, her countenance was far greater. i walked up to her on the front row before the service began and could tell immediately by the divine joy, represented by a smile bigger than the theory of relativity, that god was doing his work in her heart. i asked her how she felt in her legs, she had almost completely forgotten about her physical ailment. her issues with her legs were not a hindrance in her worship to her god. he will bring glory to his name through the healing in her heart, and the healing in her legs. praise god for his transformation that is not limited to, or manifested only in physical healing. this was confirmation of the word god had given me in our workshop teachings about god's interest in being the satisfaction of our soul's craving. make no mistake, our soul longs and craves. without an understanding of what or why our soul's long and that the fulfillment is only in their creator our souls will continue to ache and we will search for gratification. sadly, we choose to quench the craving by focusing or honing in on seasonal gratification that lasts only a little while. the living water of christ is such that it provides refreshment and satisfaction for the longing of the soul, for a lifetime.