Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Perspective on Katrina

By now you have seen countless images of the damage produced by Hurricane Katrina. The press has vigorously sought out the extreme view of all the pain and anguish and broadcast it to the world. It is time to shift away from the visible devastation and consider the spiritual dynamics. Here are a few embryonic considerations of things God might want us to see.

1) This was fundamentally different

America is no stranger to violence or judgment. There are times when the dysfunction of our society overflows in destructive actions, such as the spate of school shootings a few years ago. There are other times when God uses nature to discipline us, such as the Northridge earthquake which hit the center of child pornography in California.

The assault on New Orleans and the surrounding area falls into a dramatically different category. God warns us in Leviticus 18:28 that the land itself has limited tolerance for iniquity. "And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you."

I believe this is what is happening in Louisiana. Listen to the people who are leaving. There is a consistent theme of people just wanting to get out and not come back. This is a staggering response considering how deeply rooted people are in Louisiana. It is not nearly the transient society we have in California. Families have lived in a small geographic area for generations, and suddenly, there is no love for their native land at all.

Although they have no place to go, no future, no plan, they know one thing - they want out. I believe that it is because in their spirit, they know that the land is inhospitable spiritually, as well as physically.

Contrast this with other great disasters. When the earthquake and fire destroyed San Francisco in 1906, the overwhelming response was to rebuild. When the tsunami hit Alaska in 1964, the overwhelming response was to rebuild. When Hurricane Hugo hit South Carolina in 1989, the overwhelming response was to rebuild. When the Twin Towers were hit in 2001, the overwhelming response was to rebuild.

While New Orleans will certainly be rebuilt, the overwhelming response at this moment is to flee and never look back.

This is different. A specific discipline from God or the natural consequences of a dysfunctional society do not bring this response. People are responding to the land which has vomited them out.

2) There is a spiritual virus released

Louisiana has been known for decades as a place of civil lawlessness. The anti-social behavior of the last week is a minor issue compared to the history of governmental abuse of power and ordinary criminality in the streets. Additionally, the city is famed for moral and spiritual lawlessness. The very term "Big Easy" announces to all that gratification is readily available on all levels.

Louisiana also has a very strong spirit of rights vs. responsibility. It was remarkable to track the differences in response among the people who were interviewed. People from Louisiana frequently lashed out because their needs were not met in the manner they expected. People from Mississippi were more often quoted as expressing gratitude for whatever help they did get, when they got it.

America as a nation is certainly predisposed to lawlessness and to focusing on their own rights, not their responsibilities. What will it look like when these two spiritual viruses from New Orleans are disseminated across the nation in a massive fashion, cross pollinating with negative spiritual dynamics already in the communities?

3) The Christian response

The book of Obadiah is God's judgment of extermination on the nation of Edom. Their sin? Hurting Jews when God was punishing them. Even though the Babylonian assault was ordained by God, and even though the sins of the nation of Judah compelled this judgment from God, Edom should not have helped inflict pain on Judah at the time when they were being broken by God.

This is a crucial principle for the Body of Christ and the nation at large. Regardless of the nature and degree of the sins God is dealing with, Louisiana and the surrounding region is part of our nation. They are kinfolk, therefore God is holding us responsible to reach out to them, not to condemn them or add to their pain.

4) The potential

We use the term The Edomite Curse to describe normal human relationships that turn adversarial. It encompasses abortion, child molestation and abandonment, divorce, racism, domestic violence, murder, rape and all other forms of fractured relationships. While every redemptive gift has its own form of sin, the redemptive gift of Prophet tends to default to the Edomite Curse, leaving a trail of broken relationships behind it.

Thus, the United States with its redemptive gift of Prophet has created vast brokenness within our own nation, as well as in the community of nations around the world. Texas, a Prophet state, is also somewhat tenuous in their commitment to community. Their slogan "Lone Star State" continually reaffirms that their commitment to the community of the nation is second to their commitment to themselves.

Now consider this principle: If we honor those whom God sends us, He will send us those whom He honors.

The Church has been praying vigorously for revival. There is a passionate desire to have more than a visitation from the King. We long to have Him dwell among us.

This is a righteous desire.

But is it possible that we are facing a test? Is the earnestly desired move of God contingent on our response to this situation? Is it possible that in the face of decades of rampant, unrepentant empowering of the Edomite Curse, God is offering this nation one last opportunity to love our brother?

When you think about it, the financial, emotional and spiritual cost of restoring the tens of thousands of evacuees is microscopic when measured against the travesty of the past generations' indulgence in destroying life and community.

Is it possible that if we respond rightly to this, God will come with mercy, but if we turn our back on our brothers and sisters, God will turn His back on us?

I don't know. I don't have to know whether the stakes are that high or not, because I do know that the right thing to do is to invest in those who have fled Louisiana - just because it is right.

5) The Fruit

If we consistently do what is right, because it is right, sooner or later we will do a right thing that gives us results that are hugely disproportionate to the action.

For the last ten years sundry teams have been deeply vested in dealing with the iniquity on the land in Texas. Hundreds of events have been held in public and in private, seeking to properly deal with past sin, rebellion and iniquity.

Today, Texas is leading the nation in being honorable toward those who are in deep need. From the man in the street to Governor Perry, Texans have stepped up magnificently, extending radical mercy to all who are in need, with no reservations.

Is today's series of radically right choices in Texas the result of purifying the spiritual dynamics of the state over the last ten years? And will today's right choices regarding the evacuees leverage the nation away from the edge of the precipice we have been walking on?

I don't know for sure. I just know they are doing the right thing in a big way, and it will go far to crush the power of the spirit of Edom that has reigned in Texas for a long time.

Will we do the same for our nation?

Arthur Burk

Sept. 6, 2005

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Worship at the River

Worship at the River

Four years ago on this date, most of our lives changed dramatically. We were confronted with the reality of a battle initiated by an enemy we could not easily see ... and this holy war, for the first time, affected U.S. soil.

Exactly two weeks ago, we experienced another tragedy in the hurricane and the aftermath of chaos and lawlessness ... as well as acts of kindness and mercy ... all witnessed on the nightly news. Many fled to a Tower of refuge ... the Superdome ... hoping for safety and security.

We are living with uncertainty, challenge, and change. This is why I am more convinced than ever that ...

... neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Just two years ago this month, several us felt the Holy Spirit lead us to began a once a month gathering here at the River. While we have learned more tha just a few things, these past few years our gathering has just one central purpose. It is an open invitation to let the Holy Spirit release songs... songs that we know from the past, hymns as well as contemporary, and songs that have their birth in the spontaneous revelation King David modeled for us in his personal journal ... which became the Book of Psalms.

Paul urged the church to assemble and bring something....a contribution to the meeting. I don't think he was referring to finances. He spoke about songs, a prophetic word, a word encouragement or a tongue with interpretation ...

As in the past, you may hear songs that are spontaneous, experience times of quietness or silence ... words of encouragement ... All of these elements we submit to the Holy Spirit for his orchestration. And above all, we are not afraid of making a mistake.

We have learned over the years that there is one central reoccurring and growing passion ... that is the love for the Bride for the Bridegroom ... the Holy Spirit draws us to this truth time and time again ... the supremacy of Christ. I asked my wife if she had a word for this evening, and she said yes, she says the Lord says: I want all the attention tonight.

This evening we may experience times the Holy Spirit will initiate.... an opportunity to agree with Him for words of knowledge, prophetic encouragement ... ... healing ... as well as an opportunity to celebrate communion as the Holy Spirit leads.

But most importantly, this evening we have the privilege and of the joy of abandoned worship. That despite external circumstances, gas prices, hurricanes, wars and rumors of wars, the start of school, illnesses and disappointments, we worship.

Can you find the rest from your previous labor?

Could it be that the Lord wants us to draw even closer to Him ... because we're approaching a season of even greater dependence on Him?

We worship. We worship because of what God has done for us ... He has done great things ... and we are His people and the sheep of his pasture created for one purpose ... to glorify His Name.


Justice Tour

A Note from Kelly.....

Hi Everybody!!!

And so, the next chapter opens with a girl on her knees crying out to her God for grace to stand and grace to weep. What else can be done? Is there an ocean large enough to hold all the tears to be shed? It is God alone that can annul the covenant that we have made with death. It is He alone that can break the curse over our land.

Some of you know me well; some have walked with me during deep seasons of pain, while others have known me from a distance. Regardless of time, distance, or lack of knowledge, we are bound together in the spirit by our love for the Father and for His Son, the fellowship of His Spirit being our link to one another.

Many of you know the journey that I’ve been on as I have struggled to remain in the love of God and abandon myself into the mystery of His sovereignty, even while wrestling with the reason why He was allowing sickness to ravage my body. Your presence while I struggled was a great comfort to me and gave me courage to lean more fiercely into the Father’s heart and for that I am indebted to you forever.

The season for me is beginning to change. I have been severely restrained for the past few years from any kind of travel, many times even outside of my own house, but this restraint has been a tool that has taught me what it means to be content with my portion for the season I find myself in, of which I am still learning. I pray that I have not despised this gift but have used it to dig deeper into the wells of salvation, building a refuge that will remain unmoved when the storms of life come to try the strength of the structure we have built.

As many of you know the Justice Tour’s final stop is in Jackson, MS from Sept. 11th-Sept. 16th. Mississippi is a state with only 1 active abortion clinic within it’s borders. There were as many as 7 open at one time, but the governmental leadership, made up of mostly born-again Christians, have placed such stringent restrictions on them, it has made operations in that state very difficult, thus there is 1 left standing.

What is the Justice Tour? The Justice Tour is a stand the body of Christ across our nation is taking against this culture of death that is pursuing our generation. It is a silent cry raised on behalf of those without voices, being heard in the court of heaven. We will stand with red tape across our mouths with the word LIFE written on it, our hearts pleading for the blood of Jesus to wash and cleanse this land, pleading for the end of the death of the innocent in our nation. All across the nation, as the team stood in specific locations in the different cities they visited, they saw incredible signs that this is the hour to stand for LIFE, to awaken from our slumber and truly hear the heartbeat of our Father.

So, a team from Portland will be going on the 11th. I am 1 among the number of nameless and faceless ones. If God would have you pray for this event and for the team that is going to stand, please listen to the whispers of the Spirit as He is leading. I personally have some specific things that I would surely covet your prayers for.

  1. Grace for traveling. I have not traveled far from home in almost 3 years, and I’m a bit nervous…to say the least. The last time I traveled was not a good experience which is why I’m a little nervous. I’ll be honest and say that I was sick when I left to leave and the condition only worsened as the trip progressed. When I arrived back home I spent a long time recovering.

  1. Grace to stand. We will be standing for 5 hours a day in hot and humid

conditions. Even in shorts, the weather itself will be enough to make the stand

difficult. Please pray that the Lord will be merciful to us and give us strength

when we are feeling weak, even to the point of changing the weather for us… I

know He is fully able.

  1. Grace to weep. In this hour of history, there is a clear call for the professional

weepers to arise and let their eyes run down like rivers. May our stand be one

full of tears as our hearts are impacted by the breaking heart of the Father. I

don’t want to be distant from his heart anymore, regardless of the pain that it

causes me to feel within. Is it not worth it to know what the Father is feeling and

be able to somehow comfort Him in this season by joining our tears with His?

I would also ask that the Father, in taking me into this next chapter, would release to me an increased level of wholeness and fullness in Him. He truly is my Ebenezer stone…My rock of Remembrance… He has delivered me in the past. He is delivering me now. He will deliver me in the future. I can trust His heart for His thoughts toward me are good.

In His Arms,

Kelly Hahn

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Labor Day

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, Labor Day, several us gathered together to wait on the Lord. While there was no specific agenda, we felt the Holy Spirit lead us to listen to Him. During our time of listening, I wrote in my journal a few questions I felt Lord was asking:

Ask and you will receive ... do not labor in vain.

Can you find the rest from your previous labor?

Sobering questions. Most of us recognize that after Katrina, life will never be the same for hundreds of thousands. Could it be that the Lord wants us to draw even closer to Him ... because we're approaching a season of even greater dependence on Him?

As we approached yet another season of busyness with the start of school and other demands, we invite you to the river this Sunday evening. We invite you to rest and worship and listen.

Many of us are discovering the Holy Spirit has deeper levels of silence and rest available to those who desire to press in even deeper to the heart of God.


Join us for a picnic at 5:00PM….beverages and cups will be provided. Please bring your own picnic foods, plates and utensils.

Thank you for praying for our family during this interesting and challenging summer. Please continue to pray for these upcoming meetings.

Darrell and Carlene's September Itinerary

September 21st Meetings with John Roddam at St. Luke's Episcopal in Seattle
Web Page: http://

September 24th Meetings with Jim Watt at the Congregation Beth Chesed Tacoma Washington
Phone: (253) 874-4265

September 25th Three services at the Oasis Church, a Korean Congregation in Los Angeles with Pastor David Kim

September 26th - 28th Youth With A Mission meetings in Los Angeles

September 29th - October 2nd
Leading worship at the International Fellowship of Ministries annual Fall Conference
The Father Heart of God

Location - Word of His Grace Church - Bothell, Wa
Speaker: Leif Hetland
Office: 206-782-4367 (IFM7)
Fax: 206-782-4368 (IFM8)
Toll Free: 1-888-793-0970

Worship at the River
2nd Sunday's @ 6pm
In the Sam Cox Building
Glenn Otto Community Park
1102 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale, OR 97060

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Some of my thoughts....toward those who disagree

I've believe the Holy Spirit is moving, drawing and purifying the Church today. God is using the pressure and trials and accusations to bring about His purposes.

When we experience accusation, our first response should be a question: " Lord, what are you teaching me through this .... what are you saying to me? How are you using this accusation to bring accuracy and purity to my ministry? "

A mature and loving inquiry to valid doctrinal errors in any ministry should be welcomed.

But I also believe accusations and doctrinal errors delivered in a wrong spirit will increase as the time draws near for the return of Jesus. They are like poisonous arrows instead of a scalpel in the hands of a gifted surgeon. Sometimes there does need to be a spiritual surgery... to cut away wrong doctrinal or soulish ministry that promotes self.

I believe the Holy Spirit is drawing us to Himself with the revelation of the beauty of intimacy with Jesus. He is also permitting the added dimension of stress and difficulty to motivate us to run to Jesus more quickly and fervently.

I believe God is orchestrating these times to produce maximum love without violating our free will. I want to embrace even the things that in my soulish response ....I would rather defend.

In Jeremiah 16, there is the description of a Fisher and the Hunter. I believe that passage is referring to a willing response to be drawn closer and captured by the heart of Jesus... lurred into His presence.... as opposed to being hunted and pursued with pressure and tribulation. I'd rather be a fish.

There is coming a season in the church, where the Lord is bringing pressure and tribulation so that we might respond as Paul did, with great joy and thankfulness because the great love inherent in Godly correction and discipline.

Whenever we confront a brother, we do it with the same heart and spirit of love and affirmation we expect from the Lord himself.

It is dangerous to assume that we can bring accusations which, although they may contain a measure of truth, are without the spirit of love, humility and empathy Jesus modeled.

I know the Lord is using both righteous and unrighteous pressure to bear on the church today. how we respond to the accusations we bring, as well as receive... may be a barometer of our maturity. We must be willing to subject ourselves to the purifying fire God promises to bring to us.