Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Forty-Four!

Yesterday (Day 43) I spoke of the open door that is set before us.  We have a choice of either  going through or not going through that door that leads to our destiny.  But let me share with you one very important truth about that door, God has been waiting at the door for us!

Last night at the Open Door meeting at the Global Spheres Center, Dr. Robert Heidler shared a teaching about the upcoming month of Av, which starts this evening at sundown.  The key thought regarding this month, especially in Jewish history, is the "dire straits.  It is a time for passing through the narrow place - the time of testing - the wilderness - in order to enter into the place of your promise, your joy, your destiny and your future in the Lord.

It is a time to press through the open door into joy and celebration.  I have taught on this month many times.  It is a month of decision.  It is a month of difficulty as we journey through the narrow place into the broad and beautiful promises of God.  The Jews call it "The Dire Straits."  A picture from the teachings of our Lord is "the eye of the needle."

It is also understood by the Jewish world as a month of great curse and sorrow.  Why?  Because on the 9th of Av the Israelites stood on the brink of the promise.  They had exited Egypt.  They had journeyed to Sinai. They now stood at Kadesh Barnea and had a door of opportunity and promise opened before them.

AND THEY SAID NO!  They listened to the negative report of ten spies versus the faith of Joshua and Caleb and they refused to go through the door.  God's response to their response was forty more years in the wilderness.  A generation would pass before they would see this door again.  It's interesting (and that is a topic for another blog) that this generational curse has plagued Israel ever since.  Every major tragedy that has sought to destroy Israel throughout history has all been on the 9th day of Av.

OK, what about us?    As we journey through the dire straits - the wilderness - the drought - the testing, and arrive at the open door of our destiny as a state and nation, will you believe God’s promise?
Will you press through this month? On the other side of that "eye of the needle", narrow place or door is your future.  Let's go through narrow place to get to the broad expanse of God's promise.  You will miss the blessing if you don’t.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Forty-Three

‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it;for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name." (Revelation 3:7b-8)

It's an Open Door season.  As we journey through the wilderness the Lord is breaking off the past.  He is sifting and threshing away the chaff.  He has brought us to an open door.  Chuck Pierce declared last night that when you come before an open door you have three responses.
  1. You can go through more threshing or sifting before you go through!
  2. You can postpone going through the door at all!
  3. OR YOU CAN GO THROUGH THIS OPEN DOOR WITH CELEBRATION AND A SHOUT!
I say, Texas, that we go through with celebration and a shout!  Sound the shofar!  Let's soar!




Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Forty-Two!

It's been 42 days.  When I was impressed by the Lord to write these blogs, I originally thought it would only be seven days.  The Lord had asked me to call a time of prayer for Texas.  On the eighth day He extended it until August 5th - the eve of The Response in Houston. He added 42 days to our assignment of prayer -- an assignment akin to Elijah's walk through the wilderness that ended at the Mount of the Lord.

And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God. (1 Kings 19:3-8)

As I retired to bed last night I was meditating on this journey.  It's been long. During this time period I've been reading the trilogy by Michael Shaara and his son Jeff on the Civil War: Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels and The Last Full Measure.  I am approximately 200 pages from finishing and the thought that has been running through my mind and heart is the weariness that has set in on both armies of the war.  They "thought" it would be a swift victory.  That one battle.  That quick strike.  But it has gone on and on and on.  Tens of thousands have died.  The bands accompanying the armies are no longer playing the victory chants but dirges and quiet lullabies.

The wilderness journey is an arduous one.  It is not meant to be easy.  It tries our soul.  It tests our spirit.  It pushes our flesh to the limit.  Yes, we might live in a microwave, quick paced world, but that is not how the Lord fashions us.  Seven days from now we will witness the gathering of God's kingdom in Houston for a solemn assembly.  Even as we gather - it is not a quick fix, but another element of our journey in Him as a state and nation. 

One more thought.  I realized in meditating on the 1 Kings 19 passage above that Elijah's wilderness journey started after he arrived at Beersheba -- the place of covenant.  Remember, our journey begins and ends in covenant -- a covenant sealed with our Redeemer's blood.  Let's press on toward the goal!

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead... (Philippians 3:12-13)

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Forty-One!

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand. 
I have been young, and now am old
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, 
Nor his descendants begging bread.
He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.
(Psalm 37:23-26)

Yesterday I had the combined joy and sorrow of participating in the 'homegoing" or "coronation" of Floyd Alves.  He entered the heavenly courts on July 20, 2011. Beth Alves, his wife wrote, "It was a bitter sweet goodbye. Precious in the way he sat up, smiled with eyes shining brightly, looked upward and reached his hands toward heaven as he left this earth of his heavenly home."  Floyd and Beth co-founded Increase International, which was formerly known as Intercessors International.  Both of them have been instrumental in the release of God's intercessory and prophetic destiny in my life.

During the memorial gathering I was asked to read a note written by Floyd's daughter, Cindy Divers.  At the end of the note she shares the same message that I quoted from Beth above.  BUT she goes on to write:
On Monday morning, July 25, I was sitting with Mother while she was working on writing Daddy's obituary.  While sitting there I was looking up the two pages of his favorite scripture references he had left behind for us.  I had gotten his personal Bible out of his office to use to look up these scriptures.  After a couple of minutes of turning page after page, I noticed a familiar smell.  It was his smell...a mix of Old Spice and Dial Soap.  I lifted the Bible to my nose to take a sniff.  Daddy's smell was all throughout the Word of God!  Tears came to my eyes as I thought of the unexpected legacy he left behind for us.  Daddy had spent so much time in the Word of God that the Word and his smell intermixed with each other.  Wow, but that is who my Daddy was....a man who love his Father God more than anything else and spent many many hours with him.  Your love and the legacy you left us will remain in our hearts forever.
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)

Why did I share this? As we exit our wilderness journey with the Lord - we will have His aroma!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Forty!

We have reached day forty of my blogs.  We now stand just ten days away from The Response in Houston.  It is a day of fasting and prayer.  It is day set aside to bow our knees before our God as a state and as a nation.  It is a day to confess our sins and to repent (change our minds) regarding the unrighteous acts that we have performed or agreed with by our lack of response.  It is a day to reconcile with Him and with each other.  It is a day to bring glory to the Lord's name.

I personally have been asking the Lord to reveal (uncover) those things in my life and ministry that have not honored Him.  It is very easy to point out the sins of others.  It is hard to ask the Lord to point out those sins in us.  And He has.  And honestly - I don't like what is revealed.  But like it or not, our first response is to bend our knee in humility and confession before our loving and merciful God who desires to correct us in order to redeem and fulfill our destiny in Him.

Now, on this past Sunday morning as I was trying to find a wristwatch that worked, replacing projection lamps and trying to focus on my message for the body, I received another email from Tracy Hamlin. (I really need to talk to him about this).  He was sharing about his struggles with the Lord regarding "learning Spanish."  And in the midst of it - the Lord gave this word!
“As a nation, the Mexican people have been treated as poorly by the US as any other race or people group.  Various atrocities have taken place on their land, and on the soil of the US, so much of which the general populations have no idea about.  It is all named AMERICA, and yet there is a massive division that has relegated those from below the river to menial tasks and places of disrespect.

It will take the same level of repentance as was given to the Host Nations to correct and begin to mend the ties between the Spanish speaking people and the people of the US.  The people of Mexico have been touted as illegal, and undeserving by a nation, and not given the ample opportunity that anyone else is given.  People are people, regardless of race, station in life, or skin color.  I created them all, and I love them all and esteem them all in the same manner, enough so to place My Son on the cross for the salvation and redemption of all.  I did not once make anyone fill out a form to come to Me, the only qualifier is the blood of Jesus, the Son of the Living God.

I am not condemning political polices and policing for regulatory and safety concerns, I am not endorsing law breaking, but how many of the ones that cry out ‘illegal’ have sin in their lives that goes unconfessed, unrepented.  Do you not know that you were brought in to the world as an alien yourself?  You are not of this world, and yet, you do not consider yourselves ‘illegal’.  The term illegal is not applicable to people.  They may be doing an illegal thing, according to the laws of the land which must be obeyed, that is not the issue on My heart, it is the pronouncement of a curse over an entire people because of barriers, geography, hatred, bitterness and strife.  My heart is grieved over the throw-away mentality of the governments of some of the states, some of the law-makers that jump on the band-wagon simply for the sake of the popularity contest of politics.  It is an evil root that has brought this issue and festered it in the hearts of those that lump themselves into the “white” category.  I am not dealing with races, I am dealing with heart issues.

Do you think that I am “white” or “black” or of this nationality, or came from this part of town???  Then why, ask yourselves, WHY would you treat ANYONE as less important, or label them with a derogatory name, when they are created in MY image?  Do you not see that you are equally defaming ME by this slurring?  You are saying to MY FACE “you did not create these people good enough to be equal to me and my skin colored people”.  That is hatred toward ME, now think about that.  I am reasoning with the hearts of man, to save the path of judgment that will come on the heads of those that refuse My correction.

So now you ask “Lord, how do we do this?”  The same way you have done it in the past.  On your face, on your knees, humbled to the point of humiliated, and broken before ME and before those that have been offended.  Take this matter seriously, the workers of the land have been poorly treated, and the land has suffered.  The native hosts, the original keepers of the land have been replaced by new keepers, and still the same thing is occurring, the land is bearing a curse because the keepers are cursed by the words and pronouncements spoke over them, and by the unjust treatment of those that feel they are in charge.  Oh, you must think it a coincidence that the stereo-type exists of landscaping and lawn maintenance - I don’t deal in coincidences.  I have placed that in motion, as a means to keep them close to the ground, close to the land, in touch with the land, in working covenant with the land.  I do not make a sweeping rash statement about the people, that is a label that has been put on by men, but that has simply been a distraction to this point, so that the eyes of the nay-sayer would not see the connection to the land.   But now, you see it.

Now, the land is crying out again to have the curse removed.  Now it is crying out for stewardship to be repaired, to be taken over again by the ones that will use the land for My Kingdom.  Lands will change hands, in gift, and in deed, and will be used for My Glory.  I will fill the Latin houses with joy and laughter, and the stigmas and limitations and low expectations will be broken off of this people.  I will say this again- I created man in my image, so look at man, look at ME and see that I am not a race, nor a look, or a color, I am the Creator.  I created man, and man has scoffed at My creation.  That is not a wise choice, and it is not one that I will tolerate in My Kingdom.  Take heed these words, and see to it that repentance is not a matter or method, or a matter of show, but allow me to orchestrate the timing and the place and the proper ones to be in place.  You have done measures in the past, but this is much deeper than you first knew, much more close to My heart that you were aware.  Return to Me, and see that I am the good God that brings all men to Me through My Son. “
My heart broke before the Lord.  I, like everyone else, have my opinions regarding immigration and border control.  And I could share those opinions with clarity and resolve.  But listen carefully - in this hour as we approach our God with humble hearts - our opinions don't count.  Only His! You'll notice that even the Lord was not condemning our need for safety and policies regarding the border and immigration, but His heart is breaking over our heart-view of a people.

During worship, as I reviewed His words regarding "resetting time" and going through new doors, His Spirit prompted me to act.  I stopped worship and as an entire congregation we left our worship and walked the length of our building to our fellowship hall.  In that room a Hispanic congregation meets. We went before them and bowed our knee in repentance.  We honored them.  We embraced them.  We committed to walk in covenant with them.  We have much more to do. We have to walk our talk, but as we journey towards Houston on August 6th - our talk must line with His.  This is about Him and His kingdom.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Statewide Call to Prayer - Day Thirty-Nine!

Yesterday I wrote that I was going to share something the Lord revealed to us on Sunday morning.  I will get to that revelation tomorrow!

In response to yesterday's blog, Charlotte Merschbrock, who oversees the Louisiana Apostolic Prayer Network with her husband Roger, wrote the following:
Tom,
I wanted to share something with you in regard to prayer for rain.  I took a look at the national drought monitor this AM.  It looks as if the dryness is breaking up a bit, but we’ve got a long way to go.  The Lord is continually reminding me, as you have said, this is not just about the dryness of the earth but the spiritual dryness of His people.

Blessings to you and family,
Charlotte

Here’s what I wrote in my journal this morning.

This morning I left for my routine visit to Curves for exercise.  The owner began to converse with me and the other ladies about the rain we’ve been having as of late.  The Cane River here in Natchitoches, Louisiana, which is the lowest we’ve seen it in the 25 yrs. we’ve lived here, has begun to rise slightly.  It’s a long way from normal level, but thankfully there’s been some positive changes.  She then made the comment that this rain is almost too late and is actually detrimental to the farmers trying to harvest their hay and corn.  She shared about her brother who was concerned that the previous lack of rain had kept him from having enough hay to feed his livestock.

Immediately the scripture came to me from Deut. 11:14 about the Lord giving rain in “due season”:  “And it shall be that if you diligently obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.” (emphasis added)

Don’t get me wrong, we’re to be thankful for the heavens opening and the recent rainfall, which has begun to replenish the dry ground.  But if you’re one of the ones that have received rain don’t get comfortable or satisfied.  We must continue to cry out for the RAIN! There’s still extreme dryness—spiritual dryness in our land.  (And from the looks of the US Drought Monitor, the natural land is still drought stricken.)

The very fact that we are seeing rain now is also a reminder that the rain, as wonderful as it is, is “out of season” to produce a fruitful harvest.  Deut. 11:14 says not only that He will give us rain but that He will give us rain “in season.”  Because we haven’t had rain in season, the Word is telling us that a curse is operating in our land due to the heart of the people—our hearts are not wholly focused on worshiping Him and pursuing Him above all else.  Now this is probably not a great revelation to you, but sometimes when we see answers to prayer for rain, we begin to draw wrong conclusions.  Yes, God has blessed us by sending the rain, but we still need to see breakthrough! This “dry condition” will not be shifted by a few prayers for rainfall—this is a spiritual dryness.  God is looking for a people who will seek Him above all else and who are truly desperate for His presence!

It may be too late for an abundant corn crop along the Cane River in Natchitoches, Louisiana, but it’s not too late for the harvest God wants to release in this season.  So we continue to cry out to Him because this is THE SEASON God wants to release the RAIN, a spiritual flood, a deluge of His glory and presence to bring forth an unprecedented harvest.

In this new season we’ve entered, we must keep seeking Him, calling upon Him and believing for the RAIN IN SEASON!!
Thank you Charlotte.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Thirty-Eight!

Yesterday morning was interesting.  I was up early as usual as I made preparations for Sunday morning worship at Prince of Peace Church.  As I was finishing, I reached for my wristwatch and noticed that it had stopped.  I laid it down and went to a dresser drawer where I knew I had other watches.  A couple of years ago at Christmas I had received two as gifts.  I reached for one and noticed that it to had also stopped.  Crazy. 

I reached for another and yes, it had stopped.  You know the rest of the story.  I picked up the fourth and last watch and it too had stopped.  Puzzled, and yet knowing that this was not a mere coincidence, I went over to the church with no timepiece.  On arriving at the church I realized that I had forgotten an errand.  Our projection system bulbs had burned out and I had forgotten to get them replaced early in the week by someone or even by myself.  So now I am up on a ladder changing a bulb. 

To add to all of this - even though I several different notes before me - I did not know what message the Lord would have me speak.  The Lord unraveled it in our midst. During worship, after I had shared my wristwatch story, one of our members, Marsha Allred, brought me a word.  She announced that it was for me BUT I knew immediately that it was a word for the entire congregation as well as the kingdom body of Christ in Texas.
The 'energy' that propelled your days in the past has run out.  That day is no more.  Today I am 'resetting' your days to be powered in a new way.  You have been a faithful son - now it is time for you to come up higher - now is the time for you to see with new eyes - speak with a new sound - hear with a new heart - and move in a new power.  The flesh cannot take you where I have destined you to go - only by the power of My Spirit.  Come into Me, My son. Come into Me.  Come into Me in a deeper way then you've ever known.  Listen for My sound - for Mt touch - I love you son.  You are my true son - my heart trusts you.
Remember!  It's wilderness time.  The Lord is in the process of removing old things from us.  He wants us to hunger and thirst for Him alone! Let go of the old.  Close the door to the past.  That time is gone.

New power.  New time.  New bulbs (revelation). It's time to reset!  It's time to respond to the Lord with a commitment only unto Him. By the way, it took me longer to get today's blog out because I had to 'reset" our computer and internet system.

Tomorrow I will share a significant event that took place in our midst that relates to Texas and the upcoming Response.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Thirty-Seven!

Well, let's see.  Things don't change much, or as the wise man declares - there is nothing new under the sun.  Let's read and meditate together.

The first temptation - Adam and Eve.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?" And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Genesis 3:1-7)
The first temptation - the second Adam - Jesus our Lord!
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: 
     ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,
      To keep you,’

and,


 
    ‘ In their hands they shall bear you up,
   
      Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’” Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:1-13).
So as we journey through this wilderness towards our destiny in the Lord and His kingdom, can we expect anything different?  The Lord will test us as He did His people Israel (read Deuteronomy 8) and Satan will tempt us.  The Lord is alluring us into His presence and desiring that we will long for and trust only in Him.  Satan desires to kill, steal and destroy.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
What is our response to the one who lovingly calls us His own?

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Thirty-Six

Last we began our TXAPN Multi-Region meeting in Alvord, Texas.  The Lord broke through into our hearts as we laid down "traditiuonal" forms of worship and meeting.  We had no worship team but were simply invited to "dwell" in His presence as a keyboard player exalted the Lord with simple instrumental worship.  Words and pictures of the Lord flowed into our hearts.

We then listened to Texas Representative Phil King (District 61 - Weatherford).  What a powerful presentation from a powerfully humble servant's heart!  I believe a podcast of his talk may be avaialable at some point.

Durring the worship the following prophetc word came forth through TXAPN Council Member Annette Lavender:
And the Lord would say to the faithful remnant of Wise county, all the counties represented here and the state of Texas. I have called you for such a time as this. I have called you to pray and seek my face for the state of Texas, for the nation and for Israel

My eyes search to and fro for a remnant that will hear My voice and heed my instructions

It is time to hear the roar of Judah in this land.

The roar will be heard and I will move on your behalf because you have been faithful

The Lord would say that this is My battle. I will fight the fight for you have sacrificed and been obedient.  It is time to take the mountains and for religious structures to bow their knee to my kingdom.

Know that my heavenly host are opening a pathway for you and Holy Spirit will illuminate your path towards a resting place for my faithful servants

It's My time now!

I would also encourage you to listen to the meeting from Shreveport.   Chuck Pierce teaches, but he also shares a powerful dream about the lamb and lion that fits this word from Alvord.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Thirty-Five!

As I have been posting these blogs I am constantly facing, in my spirit, the intensity and importance of this season.  I believe that most of us (especially the church at large) are oblivious to the unraveling of events that the Lord is orchestrating. On Monday night, as I joined with about 100 intercessors in the Fort Worth Club for a pre-Response Prayer Gathering, I was overwhelmed by the Spirit as we knelt together in humility. The Lord keeps impressing on me the "shift" or "new place" that is coming.

Then yesterday, Chuck Pierce sent out a letter regarding the season we are walking through.  He put it into the context of Glory of Zion moving into the new Global Spheres Center.  He wrote:
We are at a place where we are prepared to SHUT THE DOOR AND TURN OFF THE LIGHTS TO THE LAST SEASON and cross the threshold to a new season of opportunity! ...We recognize that we are in the three week frame known as "Between the Straits." Historically, this commemorates the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BC and when the Temple was destroyed. Many other calamities have also occurred to Jews during this period, which causes it to be a time for special watchfulness over Israel and Jews in the nations. Since we are grafted into God's covenant promises, we must also be watchful to overcome attempts by the enemy to block us from entering a new door to a new season!

This is a Week of Seeking!
 I loved what Tiffany Smith shared on Sunday morning. She came down from the stage and leading worship to share the following word:
 "In the book of Job, the last chapter, Job told the Lord, 'I've only lived by rumors of You but now I've seen with my eyes.' There was a change he made with the Lord. I heard the Lord say, 'This is a week of seeking. If you will set yourself apart to seek, I will restore. If you will set yourself apart to seek Me with all of your heart, with all of your face, with all of your might, with everything that You are this week, I'm going to set things in order for your future.'"

This is an incredible word for us right now. Take time to seek the Lord for His plan of restoration! Later on Sunday morning I shared from Mark 4 on when Jesus and the disciples crossed the lake and encountered a great storm. When they landed on the other side, they encountered the man living in the cemetery who was possessed by an evil spirit. (What a welcoming crew!) However, ten cities were converted because of Jesus' willingness to confront this opposition.

For all of us this may be two hard weeks, and it may feel as if we are right in the middle of a storm. But by faith we will get to the other side! This is for us corporately as well as individually. When you get to your other side, don't let demons knock you out and keep you from going through the gate of your future. We are being tested now to go through a gate that will cause us to have ten times the joy, the supply, the freedom, and the authority that we presently have. I am praying that each of us will not only come up to the gate by faith, but will also go through the testings to enter in!

EXACTLY!  And in case you missed it - Jesus is in the boat with us.  We will get to the other side.  We will experience demonic strongholds.  But we will also see the God's kingdom manifest in our midst.  Our God reigns!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Thirty-Four!

"The Shift Has Begun - Time to Stand TALL Texas!"

A Prophetic Word to the State of Texas
by Karla Shrake       
"Find your places and shift with Me," says your Father. "Know that I have begun to shake everything that can be shaken in the earth and Texas is one of My beginning points. Both things and people will be put into their rightful places, or they will be moved aside. For nothing and no one can stand in the way of My plan for the time is short and I have much that needs to be accomplished, so you must find your places and shift with Me. Shift with Me into new mindsets and realms, shift into working together rather than independently, shift into believing that I am not only able but also willing to do all that I have spoken in My Word. Stand TALL Texas, for it is in your DNA as you were birthed from My loins to be strong and courageous, for there were many righteous in your family ancestry."

"For within the womb of Texas lies a great tidal breaker-anointing that is beginning to swell and gain momentum. Deep within the belly of this great state lies a tsunami that truly shall shake not only the US, but the nations of the earth. For within the courageous bosom of this appointed state lies a Gideon's army, those who are fearless and ready to move at My command!" says the Commander-General of all the earth. "There is a fiery rumbling from the deep, indeed from My innermost depths. And yes even the continental plates are shifting as you witnessed in Japan for the earth has begun to groan with the birth-pangs that precede the return of My Son."

"My beloved Texas," says your Father-Founder "you will not miss this holy moment, your opportunity to be a tool, a weapon in My hand, for I shall use you  to smite the enemy who has greatly overstepped his boundaries in this dark hour. Rise up Texas into the greatness for which you were born and conceived! For did I not wire into you from the beginning My fire, My strength, and My purpose? There is much blood that cries out to Me from your soil, blood that was shed in days gone by, by many soldier-heroes and stout pioneers who bravely stood their ground to establish your boundaries and your great land."

"For such a time as this Texas, rise up and take your place among the nations, for while you are one of the fifty US states know that I have separated you out to be a sign and a wonder to represent Me in this hour before not only your own nation which has so badly lost its way, but I have raised you up to stand with Israel in her hour of great need. For this is your calling to put Israel into her proper place of God-given priority and honor and as you continue to do so you yourself will become established in greater stability and ever-increasing honor and financial blessing."

"For I have taken notice," says the Most High "of your Governor, My son Rick Perry, who has rolled out the red carpet of welcome to my first-born in the blessing of the commerce and entrepreneurship of Israeli business owners. This goodwill by your Governor has opened your state to great financial blessing, job growth and strength. And understand dear ones, it was no accident that your coastline, your shores, were protected during the oil leak of 2010 in the gulf. Know most assuredly that I protect and honor those who honor Israel! For the battle-lines have been drawn from long ago as nations rise and fall based on how they treat my first-born, the sons of Jacob."

"And while some of your country's leaders have turned aside from being a faithful friend to Israel, My eyes are upon you because you have courageously stood against the tide of pressure both at home and abroad. Be not intimidated for remember I am the One Who rules in the nations of the earth. Stand your ground for I am with you and I am moving greatly in your midst! As I preserved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace long ago so shall I preserve you Texas. They too had the backbone to refuse to bow to the ungodliness of their day and I Myself stood alongside them in their fiery trial bringing them safely through. Know that I am also pleased to stand alongside you in your challenges."

"It is time to unify, to unite and rally your forces and resources to come together like in days of old. Your wise ancestors and brave pioneers understood well the power of unity as neighbors joined with neighbors and communities with communities in the fight for good and for survival.  For as you come together, great will be the increase of your strength, effectiveness and impact. Prefer one another in love and look to Me to see where, how, and through whom I am moving for I am moving strategically during this season of time. For I hear the battle-cry of those who've gone before who've stood for good, fairness and right, both their blood and their prayers have come up before Me as a memorial-remembrance. My right hand is raised and ready to move over your state."

"Surely Texas, this is your appointed hour to rise up into that place I created long ago for you, a place of great influence, leadership and courage.   The thundering sound of righteousness shall arise from within you and resound throughout the land, not only within your own state borders, but from sea to shining sea, bringing hope to the hopeless and light that shall pierce the darkness. You will become a role-model for others to emulate.  For you were born to be a living torch in My hand, a firebrand for good," exhorts your proud Father.

"Gird up your loins and run with Me for I have appointed you to lead the way. I am sending strength and empowerment to run and I am sending winds, fresh winds of destiny and purpose to refresh you and lift you. Winds from heaven are being sent to clear the air, to blow away the choking smog of confusion and complacency that have settled upon your state and even upon many of your leadership."

"I am clearing the air," says the Most High, "because your Governor has honored Me by honoring Israel and also by dedicating days of prayer and a place for prayer within your state. This greatly pleases Me My children for this is the only way your land can be healed and rescued from the darkness that has infiltrated like a thief in the night."

"Pray for your Governor," exhorts the Lord of Hosts, "for I desire to use him and raise him up. Pray for his protection and for those around him, for all that concerns him in this critical hour, for he is Mine. For such a time as this I will position and use him according to My desire, so get behind him and pray daily. He is a key player in the shift that must take place, indeed that has already begun issuing forth from My innermost chambers."
       
"In My Word did I not exhort you to pray for those in government? So   P-R-A-Y  Texas! Bless him unto My plan and purposes which will continue to unfold before you.  Do not stay on the sidelines in futile speculation, but rather let your vote be counted in the courtroom of heaven by taking your place of governing authority on your knees in prayer and fasting to bless what I am blessing in your midst! I consider your Governor to be My friend because he is a friend to Israel. Did I not say I would bless those who bless Israel?"

"Know that all stems and flows from Jerusalem, from Israel and its boundaries and land for I am forevermore married to this land! I am making note of those who cry out to preserve and protect My land and its people. Those who do so will be preserved and protected though there will be challenges and trials in the days ahead. When the land of Egypt suffered plagues long ago under Moses' leadership did I not preserve and protect Israel and even liberate them? Have I not always preserved and honored My faithful ones, My righteous? For as you hold fast to Me in this critical hour of human history know that you shall not only be preserved, but you shall surely overcome," comforts your Father.

"But run and run quickly into the highways and byways of the earth to save the perishing, to tell them of My Son's blood, the only pathway of redemption and rescue. Tell them of My Father's heart of love for them and how I yearn to spend eternity in sweet fellowship with them. Please dear ones, as you go in the power of the Spirit raise up the banner of My love, for multitudes are in the valleys of decision. I deeply desire they find their way back home to the rescue-ark which has been prepared for them through the atoning blood of The Lamb Yeshua/ Jesus. I so love each and every one in all the nations and cultures of the earth! You must gather the precious harvest while it is still day, for there comes an hour when no man can work, and midnight is fast approaching."
        
"I love you Texas," says your Father, "and be assured that My signet ring of blessing is upon you as you labor for My name, My cause and My people Israel."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Thirty-Three!

Tracy Hamlin is a dear friend from Oklahoma.  Yes, Texans can love Oklahoma!  He is a member of Church on the Rock in Oklahoma City where my mentor and friend, Dr. John Benefiel serves.  John also apostolically oversees the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, with which TXAPN is covenantly aligned.

Tracy sent me the words of this song which he wrote (Ryan Kirkpatrick of Church on the Rock set it to music).  I believe it speaks of our great desire to see the Lord restore rain to our land.  But is about more than rain.  It speaks of the flood of God's Spirit and the transforming of our state and nation into kingdom transformation.

The Smell of the Rain
Words by Tracy Hamlin ©2009

Verse 1

I hear a sound, like a roaring thunder.
I see the clouds, so full of wonder.
I smell the rain, coming nearer.
I hear Your voice, becoming clearer.

Chorus

Rain, rain, we need Your rain.
Flood us Lord, with Your Spirit.
Marking the ground, taking over this land.
We give ourselves, into Your hands.
Rain, rain, we need Your rain.

Verse 2

Revival comes, the floods show it now.
Transform us Lord, You’re teaching us how.
Reaching into the earth, You’re lifting the curse,
Come live among us, abiding forever.

The smell of the rain, overwhelming rain, the flooding rain, the refreshing rain.
Holy Spirit rain, send down the rain, we need Your rain, the refreshing rain.
Send Your rain! Send Your rain!
Raining in Austin, Texas

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TXAPN Regional Event - Trinity and Rolling Plains

This is a gathering of the Trinity and Rolling Plains Regions of the Texas Apostolic Prayer Network. Everyone from the State is welcome! You can check out the area covered by these regions at www.txapn.org/regions. TXAPN Regional Gatherings focus on the issues of those regions as well as the entire state of Texas.

Friday night will be a time of corporate worship and prayer. Texas Representative Phil King will be one of our special guests as well as members of the Comanche Nation. Dr. Thomas Schlueter of TXAPN and Connie Swain of Wise County Prayer Network will be presenting. The agenda is still being created.

Where:
New Vision Ministries
112 CR 2395 (just off of Hwy 287)
Alvord, TX 76225
940/627-2795
www.nvministries.org

When:
Friday, July 22nd at 7:00 pm
Saturday, July 23rd at 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Hotels:
Rooms at Hampton are being held under TXAPN.  The rooms at Holiday Inn Express are held under New Vision Ministries.

Holiday Inn Express
877/859-5905
1051 N. Hwy 287, Decatur, TX 76234
Room Rate $85.00; Release date July 15th

Hampton Inn and Suites
940/627-4900
110 S. Hwy 287, Decatur, TX 76234
Room Rate $89.00; Release date July 1st

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Thirty-Two!

The following is a portion of my book, Return of the Priest*.  You can read all of it by going to Return of the Priest.
“So David would not move the ark of the LORD with him into the City of David; but David took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite three months. And the LORD blessed Obed-Edom and all his household. Now it was told King David, saying, "The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." (2 Samuel 6:10-12a).

Obed-Edom

Who is Obed-Edom?   We don’t know much about him.  He was probably a farmer.  He might have been a shepherd.  He might have been a small business owner.  We don’t know. The Bible doesn’t tell us. All we are told is that he is a Gittite.  The Gittites were people from the town of Gath.  We’ll find out later that Obed-Edom was also a son of Korah. The Korahites were of the tribe of Levi and would be given the responsibility of being the gatekeepers of the Ark of the Covenant.  The gatekeepers guarded the entrance to the temple and protected the Ark.  We have to remember that. It is going to be very significant later in showing us what God does with this very common man.

Here is Obed-Edom sitting in his living room watching “Monday Night Football.”  All of a sudden there is a knock at the door.  And there is King David at his door backed up with 30,000 military troops.  And the king says, “Could we keep the Ark of the Covenant in your living room for a while?”

Imagine being asked, “Can the Ark of God stay in your home for a while?”
    “Well, yeah, I guess.”
I don’t know what I would have said if I had been Obed-Edom.  Possibly he had already heard what had happened to Uzzah outside. 
Why would I want that thing in my house?
My kids play in this living room.
If one of them touches it, he’s gone?
Why would anyone want the Ark in his home when the king, himself, doesn’t want it in his city?  But, we know that the Ark stayed at Obed-Edom’s house.  We know that it stayed there for three months.  And we know that during that time everything in Obed-Edom’s life was blessed. 

Everything.  The Scripture says it twice. 

Everything that belonged to Obed-Edom was blessed.

Imagine everything that belongs to you being blessed.  Start listing it off. . 
your family. 
your finances. 
your business. 
your house. 
your oxcart out parked out front.
Everything!

Every aspect of your life.  All the relationships in your life.  God is blessing everything that relates to you. 

Nothing entered into Obed-Edom’s house as a curse or as a lack of blessing for three months.  Imagine what his health was like.  Imagine what his crops were like.  Everything was going right for this man.  All that belonged to him was blessed.

For a good Hebrew man and a good Hebrew woman, what was the greatest sign of blessing in life?  Children.  Hold onto that.  We’ll come back to it.

So, here is a farmer or a shepherd, a Gittite, a common man – and he has the Ark of God, the Ark of God’s presence in his house for three months.

Here is Tom’s paraphrase of verse 12, “Now they told King David, ‘Hey, Obed-Edom is getting his socks blessed off.’”  So, David went and brought up the Ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David.

We just need to linger here for a moment.  Consider the commonness of this man.

What would YOU do if God’s Ark and God’s presence was in your home for three months and everything about you was blessed, and then a knock comes on your door again and they say, “We’re taking the ark into Jerusalem.”

What would you do?  Everything in your life has been blessed by God’s presence, and now that presence is leaving.  What grief must have been in Obed-Edom’s heart!  But, I have a sensing that Obed-Edom didn’t wait long before he had his family packed up and ready to go after the procession to Jerusalem. 

“We’re not going to stay where we are,” Obed-Edom’s family must have said. 
“We’re going after the Ark.  All of our family, all of our household, we’re going to pursue the Ark of God.”
Why?  Because Obed-Edom had been forever changed by God’s presence.
We have to realize that the issue here is NOT…
Oh, God, I could use a changed life or
        Oh, God, I could use everything in my house being blessed.
The issue is “Oh, Lord, what I need is You.”
Leave the rest up to Him.
Why Obed-Edom?  The story of this simple man is woven into a bigger story which describes King David's wrong plan for bringing the Ark into the city versus the right answer.  I believe with all my heart that our walk (wilderness journey) to Houston and The Response is "THE RIGHT WAY."  We are gathering for a solemn assembly to meet before our God on behalf of our state and nation.  Let us heed the call to gather - whether in person or by internet.  With all our heart - LET US PURSUE GOD AND HIS PRESENCE!

*Used by permission by author and publisher.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Thirty-One!

I started this "Statewide Call to Pray" on June 17 as my spirit responded to the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.  See "A Statewide Call to Prayer."

Immediately after that great victory against their enemies of God, the rain comes with force.  Elijah outruns Ahab's chariot back to shelter.  When Ahab returns, he reports the day's activities to Jezebel.

And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God. And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:1-9).

Well, the attacks are coming as we journey towards The Response!  Lawsuits are being filed.  Negative articles are being written.  Governor Perry and his "Army of God." are being targeted.

What should be our response?  We already know the answer (and it is not running away into the desert).  Our response is The Response.  It is to humbly present ourselves before our Lord and God.  It is about seeking His face and praising His name.  Let us persevere in prayer for Governor Perry.  This is a great risk for him that he is willing to take to honor God and to pray for our state and nation.  Pray for all of those in leadership and those who are actively endorsing the gathering.  Pray that we will be wrapped in a spirit of humility, righteousness, joy and mercy - not only as we press on to meet with God, but especially as we walk among those who do not understand.  Pray for them. Bless them.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

The Lord is recalling to my spirit a song that we sang when we gathered with the Arkansas Apostolic Prayer Network about a month ago in El Dorado, Arkansas. It is written and arranged by Pastor Rory Green and is called Cry Glory (based on Psalm 29).  One portion reads:

Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones
Ascribe to the Lord, glory and strength
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name
Worship the Lord in His holiness

The Lord speaks over the waters
And the God of Glory thunders
The voice of the Lord is powerful, majestic and mighty
It breaks open the heavens

Lightning is flashing
Deserts are shaking
Bare oaks are thirsty
All His people cry glory


Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Thirty!

Here is a word of the Lord given to Tracy Hamlin of Oklahoma City on July 14, 2011.

AFTER THE RAIN

I inquired of the Lord what happens next, ”after the rain”, (a friend of mine that serves as my armor bearer had mentioned that heading on Elijah List, and it caught my spirit, so I inquired) and He said “the harvest”.  I chewed on that for a bit, and then He said “but first, the growing season."  The rain brings the growth that brings the harvest.”  I got the impression that this was related to wealth, and awakening, both.  Here’s the rest of what He spoke to me:

You are entering a season of growth.  Because of the prayers for rain and the divorcing of the evil entities and iniquities, the rain has come, the rain (reign) is coming, and the rain (reign) will come.  Growth is the natural result of rain, and harvest is the reaction to the growth.  In natural terms, enlarge your vats, enlarge the tents, and enlarge the warehouses and storehouses.  Enlarge your tools; widen the swath of the harvesters.  Widen your scope of the field, widen your vision field.  In natural terms, grow that place that will hold the harvest, and prepare the place for the overflow.

You will need more than what you think.  Enlarge your thinking.  This is not simple math, this is exponential.  Where once 1 would produce many, 1 will produce innumerable.  It will not be for counting that you see the overwhelming harvest come, it will be for moving and redistributing.  Wealth is the tool for harvest, so be ready to take it in and store it for distribution.  Growth, then harvest.

Now is not the time to get overly anxious and pluck the green plant from the ground prematurely, or to eat your seed.  Harvest brings more seed, along with meat to eat, so continue on, continue to renew covenant with the land, with the earth, with the heavens, with Me.  Continue to remind the demonic structures that there is no right to come in to your harvest and your seed any longer.  The thief will repay, but first he will stop stealing.  You have been stolen from for so long, that even when that stops it will seem as if the increase has come.  Recovery is on it’s way, be prepared for the turning of the tide, the shift in the flow.  It will no longer go out from you without returning, but when you give, it will come back in a harvest way.

This is a new season for many - you have not ever seen the likes of harvest, but have had to eat your seed to survive.  No more.  Seed will be placed in your hand to plant, no longer to eat, until it is the product of harvest!  I will bring the rain!  I AM BRINGING THE RAIN!  Rejoice in the rain, be refreshed by the coming season, but be cautious not to linger and become lethargic – there is much work to be done in the harvest.  Enjoy the harvest, be fattened by the increase, but don’t become complacent – there needs to be replanting.  I have set creation with cycles, so be aware of the season you are in, while preparing for the next.  It is foolishness to think that it will always be sunny, or always be cold.  The seasons will exist forever, and it is the wise man, the wise CHURCH that plans for the next while working the present.

Expand the gathering place, enlarge the meeting place, for I am preparing you to harvest, and there will be need of more seating and more gathering places.  This is a word for My CHURCH, prepare the gathering teams.  Prepare the ones that will train the ones that will harvest in the NEXT harvest.  RAIN is good, but HARVEST is the goal.  While the harvest is being readied, be vigilant to tend the growth and watch the field for pests and things that would distract from the harvest.  You know well the wheat and tares, but there is more strategies the enemy has to choke out and detract from the harvest while the growth is taking place.  I am showing you those tactics so that you can be aware and prepare to counter attack those points.  It will be vitally important to go geographically to the source to deal with some of these things as the place of their conception.  Pests are not born in your field, they are born somewhere else, and come into your field in the opportune manner and the opportune time.  If you destroy their birthplace, then they never come to your field, and will not affect your harvest.  Seek the root, seek the birthing place of the root of pestilence and destroy it.  Tear it down, tear it down and destroy its foundation.  Is this literal?  Yes, there will be literal structures that will be torn down, on the earth, in your midst, and I will repurpose that land for MY harvest, whereas it has been used to foster the enemy’s destructiveness.  I am bringing the rains again… be aware of why, and prepare for the next work.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Statewide Call to Prayer - Day Twenty-Nine!

It's amazing!  I was on vacation and still drove over 1100 miles of Texas.  And it was glorious.  A real time of rest with the family.  BUT Texas is definitely in a drought.  Unless you drive throughout the state you don't get a true perspective of how ravaged the land is.

It truly looks like a wilderness - a desert - that is crying out for a drink.  But let me share another picture of wilderness.

Webster defines wilderness as (1) a tract or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings, (2) an area essentially undisturbed by human activity together with its naturally developed life community, (3) an empty or pathless area or region, (4) a wild or uncultivated state, (5) a confusing multitude or mass : an indefinitely great number or quantity, or (6) a bewildering situation.

Well, let me add this - the endless amount of water that stretched out before us as we fished on the Gulf of Mexico.  Memories of high school memorization assignments swept over me as I recalled Coleridge's famous words from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink." And to top that - there were no fish to be caught.  I joked later with my family, "I guess even the fish are fasting and praying," since none were interested in our awesome looking bait. So much water.  No end in sight.  It gives you an overwhelmed sense, much like the overwhelmed feeling of the heat and dryness that strikes you in the face when you step out of your home or car.

Two passages flooded into my heart!

Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;
        
Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 
       
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
        
The God of glory thunders; 
        
The LORD is over many waters.

The voice of the LORD is powerful;
        
The voice of the LORD is full of majesty. (Psalm 29:2-4)


Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts 
     
That the peoples labor to feed the fire,
And nations weary themselves in vain? 
   
For the earth will be filled 
    
With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, 
     
As the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:13-14)

Those endless waters can overwhelm us with "wilderness" feelings but they also remind us of the nature of our God.  In our wilderness walk He wants to remind us to "draw only unto Him as your help and salvation." I just saw one of those famous church signs as we drove up to our home last night.  It read "Even in a drought, the Lord still reigns."  Yes He does.  And this is about His reign and His kingdom.  Like everyone else, I am pleading for rain, but I am more anxious for our hearts, like drought seared ground, to cry out for the reign, the presence and the kingdom of our God.


Friday, July 15, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Twenty-Eight!

On to Washington D.C.

“Our time at the Lincoln Memorial culminated a journey that began 11 days before, when our three teams began their respective journeys towards Gettysburg and Washington DC. Together we touched 17 states with an assignment to pray through historic wells of awakening and Civil War battlefields, believing God for a historic move of Holy Spirit awakening and union. This is pictured in Ezekiel 37, where the prophet stands on a barren battlefield and calls for God’s awakening winds. An “exceeding great army” emerges!”  (Taken from Jon Hamill’s field report for CONVERGE GETTYSBURG)

It rained Sunday evening in Frederick, Maryland.  When you’re in the wilderness rain is an awesome sight.  We didn’t make too much of the rainstorm until we headed to Washington Monday morning July 4th.  It quickly became apparent that the heavens had been shaken by the action of the teams traveling across this nation as we pulled onto the Interstate headed south to D.C.  The roadside was covered with limbs and debris all along our route.  It was almost as though the storm had traveled down the road before us, straight into Washington.  Over the years as we have neared the end of an assignment it has become common place for a strong wind to blow across our path.  We now call this wind “the finishing anointing”.  If that was what Tom and I were witnessing July 4th, then this assignment was was going to finish with a bang.

As we stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with the CONVERGE GETTYSBURG teams I was taken back to April 2008 prior to this past presidential election.  I had stood in this very spot as part of an assignment in Washington.  The next phase of that assignment was to pray at the White House.  It was late in the evening when we arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  There were very few people gathered that time of the day.  I noticed a guard leave the gate house and walk out into the street. (If you are a guard at a gate I think we can assume you are a gatekeeper).  I approached the guard and asked permission to pray at the gate leading into the White House.  Without hesitation permission was granted and protocal was in place.  Remember April 2008 was before either party had picked a candidate for President.  My prayer was this, “Lord let the next man who fills this office come to the place where he realizes that the only hope for this nation is You.  Let him humble himself, fall on his knees and acknowledge that You God are the only one with the answers to the problems facing this nation”.

I bring this up today because I heard these very words spoken Wednesday.  The words did not come from the man in the Oval Office.  Instead I heard these words on a conference call.  They were delivered by Texas Governor Rick Perry.  There was no political or religious agenda attached to the words, just a humble voice speaking truth to the situation this nation faces today.  I am making no correlation between what I prayed in April 2008 and what Governor Perry spoke Wednesday, I’m only reporting what I witnessed.  Governor Perry’s conference call was to share his heart and explain why he called for “The Response” August 6th at Reliant Stadium in Houston.  As Tom stated in closing the blog yesterday, the troops are being mustered.  The clarion call has been given and the time for “the church” to respond is now.  I urge you to make plans today to attend this event.  We’ve come to a place in this wilderness experience where we want to be counted as the ones who answered the call and stood in humility and unity crying out to God for a sovereign move to awaken this nation.

Ken Bryan
kenshire@eastex.net

Go THE RESPONSE and respond!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray - Day Twenty-Seven!

Hamills of Lamplighter Ministries
First off I want to acknowledge Jon and Jolene Hamill for their hard work in organizing and conducting this portion of the 11-11 Campaign, CONVERGE GETTYSBURG.  It was their plan that served as the catalyst to position Tom and I for the work the Lord was calling us to in the region.

During one of the meetings Tom and I heard a message by Bishop Harry Jackson.  Bishop Jackson ministers in the Washington D.C. area, and has a network of churches around the country.  He has been fighting the battle against same sex marriage and is facing persecution from many sides, including some churches. His message addressed the use of the title apostle and how common place it has become today.  He very clearly articulated specifics to the office of apostle and how it functions and brought forth some truths that the church must hear in this hour in order to advance.  

Bishop Jackson’s point was that not every one who calls themselves an apostle actually has the grace to function in that office. Scripture confirms this message in Revelation; “And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not,…” (Rev. 2:2 NKJV)   This message carries over to all the offices and functions placed in the church.  We are going through a time of testing in this wilderness experience.  When we walk out of the wilderness it will be time to function at a level of maturity that forces us to correct issues that have kept us from advancing in past seasons.

When we look at the wilderness experience of Jesus we begin to see what to expect when we emerge from the wilderness.  He came out of His wilderness testing and returned to Nazareth knowing that a change had taken place. Those in Nazareth couldn’t identify the change because nothing appeared different in the natural.  Jesus had spiritually stepped into destiny and was now functioning in His calling.  We are at a place now where we should be operating in and utilizing the gifts, not just teaching about them.

When the CONVERGE group had gathered on the battlefield at Gettysburg to complete their assignment I took time to walk up to one of the statues on high ground occupied by the Union forces.
From this vantage point it was evident that the Confederate forces were against insurmountable odds.  As I left the statue and walked back to the group the Lord began to speak and revealed what occurred during the three day battle.  First General Lee had succumbed to pride.  His forces had experienced numerous successes and he had begun to feel they could not be defeated.  Second, Lee was not listening to counsel.  The Lord put it this way, “the apostle did not listen to the prophets”.  General Longstreet told General Lee numerous times that this was not the time or place to face the Union forces.  Let me assure you here the Lord was not commenting on the outcome of the Civil War or calling General Lee an apostle.  He was drawing a comparison using historical facts to show me what can occur when we don’t function correctly in our offices and gifts.  In this three day battle over 50,000 soldiers lost their lives.

I got the point.  Whether everyone in this nation realizes it or not we are going through a wilderness experience.  We do not know the outcome, but we do know there will be one.  Our job as “the church” is to emerge from this experience changed.  It is imperative that we function at a new level of unity and mature recognizing and utilizing the gifts God has given us.  There is a purpose, there is a cause.  In the days ahead it will not matter what it looks like in the natural, we must know what has occurred in the Spirit and function accordingly.

Ken Bryan
kenshire@eastex.net


Post Script from Tom - Along with pride and lack of vision (or counsel), another major roadblock to victory was an army that was scattered along a line many miles long that had very little communication or cooperation.  As the Lord musters His troops this day - we must move together with humility, vision and cooperation - the very points by which the Lord defined the TXAPN network when we were set into place in Austin in June 2007.

As I return from vacation in a couple of days I will be sharing on revelations the Lord has made to me "on the coast."