Saturday, December 30, 2006
Greetings and Happy New Year! May the Lord continue to bless you as we look forward to 2007.
As often happens, our media culture loves to reflect on the past year’s memorable events. Carlene and I have been spending a few days reflecting on what the Lord has taught us these past years. Last year during our Worship at the River meetings, we explored the Lord's Prayer, and every month He revealed new aspects of wisdom and revelation contained in each phrase. Our December Christmas Dinner was a wonderful conclusion and celebration (AMEN!) to creativity in the body of Christ. Some of the most memorable experiences have been watching the Holy Spirit release his voice through the treasures that are unique to everybody in the body. (1 Cor. 14)
In November of 1998, I returned from a two-week trip to England. I attended a global conference on worship and was deeply affected by the Holy Spirit. This was truly a “watershed” few weeks. Often, my friends defined my life as B.E. or A.E.…. before or after England. I learned much through simply being exposed to a fresh revelation of the work of the Holy Spirit. Actually, this involved much “un-learning” as well. Among the things the Lord taught me was the value of simplicity in worship and a deeper level of repentance. I returned impacted by a personal renewal in the Holy Spirit. The effects of those several weeks in Brighton England continue to reverberate in my life.
The very first night of that November I returned, (A.E.) Carlene and I met with leaders from our church for a spiritual retreat in a home literally perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. During the night, one of those classic Oregon storms hit us full on. If you have had the privilege of visiting the Oregon coast during a November winter storm, no doubt you have appreciated the power of the wind and the waves. Fifty plus mile an hour winds and heavy rains battered the home during the night. Now who knows, it might be my Midwest upbringing, but I love storms and sleep better during wind and rain than I do it any other time. Unlike my wife. That night I had a dream. This dream remains today the most detailed and memorable dream of my life. Even today, the Holy Spirit continues to unwrap various aspects of this dream. Dreams are often a colorful picture or movie “language” of the Holy Spirit. This dream has served as a sort of template in this new journey. I want to share just one small part of that dream:
I remember distinctly walking past a building, which represented the offices and administration of a church. It was literally called the "Office Complex". The complex demands and administration of weekly meetings were represented in this building. In my dream, someone had taken a black paint brush and crossed out the word "Complex", and underneath in childlike capital letters, had substituted the word: "Simple". “Office Simple.”
As most of you know, my life and ministry background represents many years of working in an office; particularly in church music and the arts. This history has been rewarding, joyful, and passionate... also very “complex”. While I acknowledge and celebrate the rich history of ministry experience in the local church, currently, many leaders are calling the church back to simplicity of relationships in corporate life. Often this is called, "simple church." This has been our recent experience: simple gatherings, sharing meals, waiting on the Lord together, asking questions, and learning to listen for the Lord’s response. This is how we’re beginning to understand "Office Simple".
And…I've always loved the “simple” expression of: See One, Do One, and Teach One. In the same manner, Jesus taught his disciples, utilizing this Hebrew learning style, which engages both the teacher and the learner. This is distinctively different from our Greek-inspired, traditional lecture learning style.
So…beginning Sunday, January 14th at 6pm and continuing for three months at Worship at the River, we intentionally (in an Office Simple/Hebrew style) will pursue: Learning to Listen to the Holy Spirit. He wants to simply encourage, exhort and comfort us. We pursue learning in order to be transformed, not learning in order to know. We are people of engagement not observation.
We welcome you to join us, as we welcome the Holy Spirit to, “simply” teach us.
Darrell and Carlene
Several months ago Carlene and I attended a three day school led by Graham Cooke, where he introduced his new book entitled: Approaching the Heart of Prophecy. We highly recommend this book and will reference it often during our meetings. You can order your own copy. His web store has a Christmas Sale featuring two of our favorite brand new Graham books.
LIMITED TIME OFFER! Purchase both of Graham's new books Permission Granted & Approaching The Heart Of Prophecy for only $25.00!!!
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
P.O. Box 131
Fairview, OR 97024
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Once again Oregon is in the spotlight both nationally and internationally as a group of out-of-state visitors who were well-equipped with technology such as cell phones and computer generated maps and some wilderness experience are now lost. In the case of the Kim family, many attempts to trace their route and use the cell phones signal and other rescue methods proved fruitful in the case of James Kim's family, but searchers were unable to find James in time.
These three climbers from Texas were also apparently familiar with mountain climbing, but are now lost. It seems to me that technology such as cell phones, nasty weather, timing the... all these factors played a part in both of these incidents. Undoubtedly both incidences contained presumptions on the part of rescuers as well as those that needed rescuing.
Here is my crafted (rough) prayer:
Lord we thank you for the church in Oregon. We believe you have blessed the people of this state with a mandate to pray and worship with great confidence, that you and you alone are the territorial presence and power that reigns over all other gods. You promised that your glory and your good news would be with us. The whole earth is filled with your glory. Therefore, we repent for the sins of presumption. We place all assumptions in you. We ask for a spirit of wisdom and revelation to be given to those in command of the search parties coming from the north and the south to supernaturally discern where these climbers are located. We ask for a break in the weather and cooperation with all those that you have entrusted and given the authority to find these men.
We thank you for your grace and your goodness displayed over Oregon. We worship you.
Friday, December 08, 2006
We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your friendship and support this past year. We met some of you while visiting Canada, Korea, China, Japan, and Cabo Mexico. Meeting you is one connection of many networks the Holy Spirit is creating as a part of His on-going desire to reflect and magnify the Person and Presence of Jesus. We are blessed to know you....even if it's been some time since we've seen you.
We are meeting this Sunday evening at 6:00 pm for the final Worship at the River of 2006. Some of us are gathering earlier for our annual Christmas Dinner (sorry if you missed the December 4th deadline or that this is the first you've heard of it) but we will all come together to Celebrate Jesus and say AMEN! to what the Lord has done through the revelation of the Holy Spirit through your ministries.
If we (Darrell and Carlene) could use a series of words to summarize our values and experience in 2006, they might be: stretching....obedience....honoring elders....trust in God with our finances....quietness and stillness...peace....celebration of family....tears of disappointment....wonderful provision....grace in adversity.....expanding vision....and above all, love and humility.
On a personal note, our youngest son, Paul, is graduating from the Art Institute of Portland this December 15th in Graphic Design/Marketing.
Nate and Krista, our oldest son announced Thanksgiving Day that another "bird was in the oven." Carlene and I are practicing calling each other Grandpa and Grandma...ouch with a smile. Danielle and Matt continue working hard in their fields of interest and at their workplace. We are
proud and give thanks to God for each of their lives.
Danielle, Matt, Dad, Paul, Mom, and Nate Krista and Nate with Pepper
We all wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
As a side note, it is all too common for magazines and newspapers to publish their "Man of the Year" or "Top 10" books or movies....thought I'd list mine as well:
MY TOP TEN FOR 2006
Graham Cooke's UNCOMMON LOVE CD SERIES
This conference teaching recorded last year will challenge and confront nearly everything about everything.
Graham Cooke and Gary Goodell's PERMISSION TO DO CHURCH DIFFERENTLY IN THE 21'S CENTURY and THE HEART OF PROPHECY
Gary Wiens' COME TO PAPA and BRIDAL INTERCESSION
Excellent book in revealing the heart of love God has for us. I love the curl up in bed with this book. (Carlene)
He and his wife have a new book coming out soon on the Beatitudes.
Misty Edward's Always On His Mind
This is a beautiful collection of modern day psalms and the latest CD from Misty Edwards, a worship leader and prophetic singer from International House Of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City Missouri.
When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson
It is truly possible for human people to walk in the divine, and Christ came to show us the way. It is by rediscovering our true identity in Him that we can begin to move into the promises of God regarding the miraculous. Bill Johnson not only teaches the supernatural, he imparts it by changing the way we think. If you are not walking in the miraculous, you're living far below your birthright! By laying a carefully constructed biblical foundation for walking in the supernatural power of God, When Heaven Invades Earth provides all the equipment you need to experience miracles every day.
Arthur Burke's NURTURING THE HUMAN SPIRIT
Bill Petersen (one of our council members, Carlene, and myself attended a seminar where Arthur presented some of this material for the first time. We may not (and he admits this) fully understand the human spirit, but I love his questions! Some of his topics:
- The data that is embedded in the light of your spirit
- How the learning curve of your spirit differs from that of your soul
- The limitations of the soul in the womb
VISION BEHIND THE VEIL by H.A. Baker
I read this book before I went to China and met leaders who are working with orphans. This classic book of the Holy Spirit's revelatory work among Chinese orphan children is as relevant today as it was in 1920. It tells the story of a group of children--mostly street beggars and orphans--living in Adullam Rescue Mission in Yunan Province, China, under the care of missionaries H.A. Baker and his wife. These children experienced an immense and incredible out-pouring of the Holy Spirit--so great that they literally "experienced Heaven" through visions, were aware of the presence of angels, and were able to describe in great detail what they saw. The result of these intense experiences of God was a fervent passion for worship, the Word of God, and prayer. This thought-provoking and faith-lifting book will challenge you to a deeper and more intimate walk with God. Dangerous reading.
SHAPING OF THINGS TO COME by Frost and Hirsch
Passionate.. idealistic.. imaginative… seminal.. incisive.. visionary. This is a gripping exegesis of culture, church and history, with some careful theological reflection along the way, contribute to the dialogue on innovation and mission and end up with re-imagining eccelesiology against the backdrop of emerging culture.
REVOLUTION By George Barna
There is a new breed of Christ-follower in America today. These are people who are more interested in being the Church than in going to church. They are more eager to produce fruit for the kingdom of God than to become comfortable in the Christian subculture.
The TV show about an irreverent Doctor....don't know why, but Carlene and I just enjoy the writing....and honestly cannot give any good reviews of movies...the one or two we saw...we didn't like.
ALL THE STUDENTS IN ALL THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND CLASSROOMS FROM KINDERGARTEN TO HIGH SCHOOL IN WHICH I WAS A GUEST TEACHER....
The children taught me more about incarnational mission than most of the sermons, books, and tape series I've heard. They made me frustrated, fearful, pray, angry, laugh, but best of all.... gave me hope. Something about the value of stepping into the harvest as opposed to analyzing it. One of the best learning experiences of my life.
I conclude with one of my best gifts from McKenzie, one of my 2nd graders...
This note made my day/month/year.
Bless you this Christmas,
Darrell and Carlene
I was in a Portland coffee shop yesterday, and the music sounded familiar. Duh....it was me. Turns out it was one of the shops favorite holiday CD's. You can order CHRISTMAS PIANO at: http://bestillmusic.blogspot.com