Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Great Word from Frank Viola

So many Christians I meet today, whether in person, on social networks, or through emails, tell me that they are living in a spiritual wilderness. They feel alone, spiritually isolated, and they don’t have too many Christian friends that they are experiencing a rich and full fellowship in Christ with.

Some of them attend a church on Sunday morning, yet still, they are living in the desert and they know it.

Some have given up on the traditional form of church altogether. And they are in serious pursuit of an expression of church that provides authentic community centered on Jesus Christ. But they cannot find such an expression in their city.

All of these people love the Lord and they love the Body of Christ, but they feel quite alone. And spiritually, they are dry and empty.

In short, they are experiencing the wilderness.

Looking back at the Old Testament pictures, Canaan was God’s goal for His people. Jerusalem was there, and that’s where God’s house was to be built.

However, God’s people had to pass through the wilderness to travel from Egypt to Canaan. They also had to traverse the wilderness to travel from Babylon to Canaan. The wilderness, then, is a divine requirement. But it’s a detour; it’s not home. How long you spend there is mostly your decision.

Let me unravel that a bit.

After the children of Israel exited the treasured city of Egypt, they quickly traveled to Mount Horeb. They then wandered in the desert for forty long years. Why? Because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:15-19; 4:1-11).

The trip should have only lasted eleven days (Deut. 1:2).

The wilderness is temporary, unless you choose to build a home there. God will eventually make a way out of the wilderness. But when that day comes, your faith will be tried. Leaving the wilderness may come at an obscenely high price. It is for this reason that many do not leave it.

I strongly believe that God’s living quarters cannot be built in the wilderness. All that happens in the wilderness is temporary. God’s goal is the Land of Promise. (I am speaking spiritually … Egypt, Babylon, the Wilderness, and Canaan are all shadows that point to spiritual realities for the Christian.)

Granted, the tabernacle of Moses was built in the wilderness. But it was a movable tent. It was highly temporal, and it was headed toward Canaan to find permanent rest.

I would now like to make several observations about the wilderness. If you happen to be living there right now, I hope this article will be of help to you.

First, God will always take care of His people in the wilderness.

He will supply them with Christ, even though it’s not their natural habitat. However, the Christ that is given to you in the wilderness is not adequate to meet all your spiritual needs. Let me explain.

When God’s people dwelt in the wilderness after leaving Egypt, God gave them water from a rock and bread from heaven. The bread was called “manna.” It was a picture of Jesus Christ, our spiritual

food (John 6:31-35, 49-51; 1 Cor. 10:1-4).

However, it didn’t take Israel long to grow weary of the manna. In the same way, you and I will eventually grow tired of the Lord that is given to us in the wilderness. And like Israel, we will be tempted to murmur against him.

There is only one kind of food given in the wilderness. And it’s not sufficient for the long haul. The manna is designed to get you and me through the wilderness experience. But we cannot live off of

it beyond that point.

By contrast, in Canaan, the fullness and the superabundance of the land are fully available to us. When we are living on the building site, the produce of the rich and good land becomes ours to enjoy. And that produce is inexhaustible.

Second, if you remain in the wilderness, you will eventually die.

Leaving the counterfeit habitats of Egypt and Babylon is not enough. If you don’t exit the wilderness, your bones will bleach in the desert.

God always brings His people out so that He might bring them in.

You can chisel that in stone.

He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our

fathers. (Deut. 6:23 nasb)

Third, the wilderness has but one goal: to sift us, to reduce us, and to strip us down to Christ alone.

Those of us who have left Egypt and Babylon need to be emptied of a great deal of religious baggage. The wilderness experience is designed to do just that. It’s the place of religious detox.

Consider John the Baptist. He preached in the wilderness. Those who wished to hear his message had to go out into the desert to hear him. During John’s day, God was through with Judaism. He was finished with the old wineskin. The Lord raised up John the Baptist to call the people out of Judaism, the organized religion of the day.

Those who followed John in the wilderness were being stripped of everything that the old Judaism had to offer. They were dropping the religiosity of that system and coming up to ground zero. From where did Jesus Christ get His disciples? Most of them were followers of John the Baptist. Therefore, they had a wilderness experience that brought them to ground zero. That experience brought them to a “nothing situation.” Compared to the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes, they were clean slates for the Lord Jesus to write upon. They were empty wineskins for the Lord to pour His new wine into. John the Baptist stripped them of the old, and Jesus gave them the new.

Please burn this into your mind: We cannot receive the new until we first let go of the old. Old wineskins don’t patch well. For this reason, God has never been in the business of pouring new wine into old wineskins (Matt. 9:16-17).

In addition to the Twelve, Paul of Tarsus also had a wilderness experience that brought him all the way up to zero. In fact, Paul had to climb a long way up just to get to the bottom.

Shortly after Paul’s conversion from being a racist, sectarian, self-righteous, bigoted, highly religious Pharisee to a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, God led him to an Arabian desert for three years (Gal.

1:17-18). What was he doing there? Detoxing.

Undoubtedly, he was allowing years of human religiosity to drain out of his veins. Everything that Paul knew as a zealous Pharisee bled out of him in the desert. Paul was beyond being reformed. He had to have a spiritual lobotomy. And that’s what the wilderness is for.

In that wilderness experience, God came to Paul in a way that he had never before known. He came to him in “the face of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:11-12; 2 Cor. 4:6). Although Paul was given his gospel by

divine revelation in the wilderness, that revelation was limited. It took five years of living in the right habitat, in an ekklesia in Antioch, Syria, for him to learn the fullness of Christ.

So Paul got unplugged in the wilderness. He was sovereignly stripped to ground zero. This experience was necessary for Paul’s apostolic ministry. Because in order for him to be a dispenser of the new wine, he had to be drained of the old.

Fourth, the wilderness is a symbol of new beginnings.

After their forty-year stay in the wilderness, Joshua led the people of God across the Jordan into the Promised Land. In Hosea’s day, God led Israel through the wilderness to woo the nation back to Himself (Hos. 2:14). After Israel had been in exile in Babylon, the prophets spoke of preparing a pathway in the wilderness so that God’s people could return home.

John the Baptist marked a new beginning for Israel by introducing God’s people to their long-awaited Messiah in the wilderness. And Paul of Tarsus began his apostolic ministry only after he spent time in an Arabian wilderness.

Leaving the wilderness always involves a cost

We have a biological drive for God’s house. We have a spiritual taste for it. We have a longing, a biological instinct, if you will, driving us to our destiny. And we will never be satisfied until we make the

decision, no matter what the cost, to be part of God’s building work.

That cost may involve the loss of friends. It may mean harassment or shunning from religious leaders. It may mean vicious and ugly rumors, slander, and gossip. It may mean walking in the steps of Abraham, who left all and headed for a city that he could not see.

It may involve selling our comfortable home and leaving our present job to relocate to another city where there are living stones who are being assembled to form God’s house. (I’ve moved in the past for this. And many of my friends have as well.)

It may involve gross misunderstanding, criticism, and perhaps thornier problems like persecution.

Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. (Heb. 13:13-14)

What is the high calling of God for you and for me? It’s to give ourselves to God’s ageless purpose, to let Him build us together with others in the way that He has always wanted. For what reason? So that He might have His house upon this earth. The words of Ezra are apt: Let the house be built! (Ezra 6:3).

I sincerely hope that this will be true in your own life.

If you are living in the wilderness right now, God will provide a way out. But it will involve a price. The question before the house is, are you willing to pay it?

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Dear Passionate Worshipers,

There is something in the air...I know Spring is here, but it's more than that. I am looking forward to worshipping...exalting...and magnifying Jesus.  And we anticipate doing it with friends we have not seen in a while.  We'll update some of our travel adventures but the primary focus us worship!

A REMINDER.. our worship gathering at the River is this Sunday, April 26 at 6 p.m. at our normal meeting place at the Glenn Otto Park in Troutdale. Also to clarify we will host a fourth a regional rendezvous of intercessors, prophetic people and worshipers Sunday, May 31 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (the LAST SUNDAYS in April and May) For more information visit: May Rendezvous. The website has been updated to reflect the intent of this gathering.

I have listened to Graham Teaching' several times...I believe he has captured this "sense" of expectancy without resorting to the kind of charismatic hype we've all heard before. I have transcribed the teaching on our Website. I love this quote from the teaching:

Your intimacy with God intimidates the enemy.  Worship makes the enemy nervous.  The enemy is depressed by praise and rejoicing.  The Lord is not looking for laborers for the harvest... he said pray for the laborers, he is looking for worshipers.

Looking to make the enemy nervous....


Remember to change our mailing address to:

PO Box 1401
Port Townsend, WA 98368

Notes from Graham's Recession BusterTeaching

Number one sign of a religious spirit is passivity.

We are bombarded with negativity, and as the church we have listened and have been impacted with so much negativity it forms our thinking.

We have underestimated the ability for a believer in partnership with the Holy Spirit to overcome any obstacle in his path.  We have borrowed thought patterns... we echo what the world proclaims around us.  We need to learn how to develop the supernatural lifestyle.  It is not about signs and wonders that is the consequence of the supernatural lifestyle.  The supernatural lifestyle is where we get to the point when we speak like God, think like God and act like God.  We are heaven's expression on earth.  We are on the earth exactly like God is in heaven.

The Lord is always getting us to see as he sees.

Moses Illustration

Moses could not have stepped into his supernatural role as a deliverer unless he saw himself as God sees him.  Exodus 7:1... see I have made you as a God to Pharaoh.  There are levels of power, influence, and productivity that will lift you above the opposition that resists you.  The Holy Spirit will turn problems into promises and creates prophecy out of passivity.

What is the keyword in this passage:
 The Year of the LORD's Favor
 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
       because the LORD has anointed me
       to preach good news to the poor.
       He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
       to proclaim freedom for the captives
       and release from darkness for the prisoners, [a]

 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
       and the day of vengeance of our God,
       to comfort all who mourn,

 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
       to bestow on them a crown of beauty
       instead of ashes,
       the oil of gladness
       instead of mourning,
       and a garment of praise
       instead of a spirit of despair.
       They will be called oaks of righteousness,
       a planting of the LORD
       for the display of his splendor.

The keyword is: instead.

When we learn to move in the opposite spirit, we move into the heaven's economy.  We must learn to live in the expectancy of his favor.  What is favor?  It is bias ... it is prejudice.  In every conflict between you and the enemy or wicked evil, he is biased and in favor for his people.... for his beloved.

What if in every situation we encounter in this life, the Holy Spirit is training us to live underneath the favor the smile of God?  What if God wanted us not only to live in his favor, but to become favor?  This favor it is written on your heart and comes out of everything that you say and do.  You do not just act in favor but you become favor.  Jesus is the living embodiment of favor... God has put us in Christ so that we are guaranteed of his favor.  So that in a time of lack we might not just survive, but thrive because of the place we are in Christ.

Heaven is not in a recession.  God has abundance, the enemy has a budget.  What a fabulous opportunity for the Lord to teach us to become what we are designed.  This is life!

This is our moment to become a visual aid for what heaven is like.  To do violence the kingdom of darkness.  The enemy is going growth... he can no longer afford to corrupt the nations... he is running out of cash.

Why does the enemy use intimidation?  Because it's cheap.  You can send one person to affect a nation.  David and Goliath.  The whole nation is held in ransom because one man brings an intimidating message.  If ever there was a moment to invest and to give more it is now he is God refuses to be out given.  We move we live in the opposite spirit.

Intimidation effects a nation until there is one person who stepped forward and demonstrate intimacy.  Your intimacy with God intimidates the enemy.  Worship makes the enemy nervous.  The enemy is depressed by praise and rejoicing.  The Lord is not looking for laborers for the harvest... he said pray for the laborers, he is looking for worshipers.

This is the time to upgrade our worship.  Intimidation works until someone comes along and can't be intimidated, because they're too busy being fascinated by God.  Problems do not bring intimidation but intrigue because we get to see the answer God is bringing.  Jesus is the one who reveals these ways of God.  We draw all of our resources and pictures from Jesus.

What if the situation you find yourself right now is the training to help you discover the riches and provision God has for you right now.

What is the reason God made man?  Let us make came in our own image.  Let's make people... and then train them to be like us!  So that nothing overwhelms them, nothing overpowers them, they get stronger and stronger with each trial and persecution.  And then to top it all off, we will give them the Holy Spirit and put them into Jesus who is all things, and holds all things together.

The keyword in Isaiah 61 is: instead.  It is displacement.

God is so biased toward you it is unfair.  So people who look at us and are so impacted with the goodness and grace that God has for his people that they declare: It's Not Fair!

We should be living examples of what God's favor is.  That is why healing, physical and relational is what God wants us to give away as an example of his character.

When God looks at you, he sees way more than what you or anyone else can see.  Vengeance is whatever the enemy has done against you not only will God heal and restore you, but he will extract vengeance and give you a Ministry in the very area that you have suffered loss and pain from.  Whatever you are a victim in you can become an authority in.  Revenge is you can set someone else free from the very bondage you were in.  That is pay back.  What ever has become a threat will become a provision.  You can turn the tables on the enemy.

Instead means in place of... an alternative can happen.  When the enemy has a purpose, the Lord has a purpose... instead.

We get to learn to live in the instead.

Illustration: one God has a different house for you... instead.

Instead means that the father has something better.  Instead of being overwhelmed what we are now we can be overwhelmed with what Jesus is creating in us.  No weapon formed against you can prosper.

Every curse proclaimed against this God promises to turn into a blessing.  When you receive a prophetic word, it is God's promises of what he will do instead of what circumstances you encounter.  God will use the enemy to point to your provision.

What ever we are threatened, think about what's provision is coming which is part of our inheritance.  Move toward the problem and position yourself for a blessing.  Because you have the mind of Christ.

The ultimate revenge against the enemy is that what ever he imposes against us makes us stronger.  We take the very thing the enemy is using against us and turn around as the left and against him. Turned into our advantage.  This is overcoming and this is more than conquering.  David killed Goliath with his own sword.

Every evil purpose becomes a blessing.  Favor will produce vengeance.  Every curse becomes a prophecy.  Every area of defeat I will turn to victory.  Everything against you I will turn into a promise.

The whole earth will one day notices the bride of Christ in all of her glory.

What if pastoral Ministry is getting people to see what the instead is?

Instead of intimidation been the rule we can come bold.  We are learning to move in the opposite spirit.

All of God's promises are yes and amen... what does that mean?  You don't have to work at getting in to that place, you have to work at staying there.  That is called: staying there... abiding.  Our role is never trying to get into a place, we must learn to stay in that place.

Husbands and wives, practice this together.  Families practice this together.  Groups of friends, practice this together.  Businesses, practice this together.  Holding people accountable to the promises and provision is the best kind of accountability.  The keyword is: instead.

Write a list of everything that is against you... keeping you from your destiny right now.  Number each one.  Defects in your personal character.  Ask the Holy Spirit to create another list of the opposite promises.

What is the prophecy over this promise?  The second list becomes your only list.  If we want to know what the Lord has for us in this season... it is on and in this list.  Promise, prophecy, and blessing will be attached to everything on the second list.

This list becomes of permission to believe in the promises of God this season.  We will become everything on the list because each item carries yes and amen.  This is the will of God for you.  As we get together with friends, we will compare what is on our list.  We will have copies of our friends list.

What's next on our list?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dear Friends,

Dear Friends,

This month, I want to share two important calendar events, direct you a free teaching series by Graham Cooke and announce our address change.

Firstly, a reminder of our worship gathering at the River this Sunday, April 26 at 6 p.m. at our normal meeting place at the Troutdale Community Center.  Secondly, we will host a fourth a regional rendezvous of intercessors, prophetic people and worshipers Sunday, May 31 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (the LAST SUNDAYS in April and May) For more information visit: May Rendezvous
Most of us have experienced the challenge of a declining global economy.  Some have experienced  job loss and pay cuts.  As I have traveled in seven different countries over the last six month's, I've seen firsthand the challenge many ministries and churches are facing in this difficult economic climate.  Yet I have felt, even as the economic news gets worse and worse, than the Lord is challenging the church to rise above this negative thinking... it could be our finest hour.  Recently, I came across Graham's teaching on this very subject.  Graham says:

This month, I am pleased to share with you my new Recession Buster series of MP3s. I recently recorded the series and felt compelled to give it away, distributing it as widely as possible. You can click this link: Graham Teaching Please consider passing the web page on to those you know who may benefit from it. We live in overwhelmingly negative times, and we need God's power and positivity to change the tide.

Finally, for the past 8 years, Carlene and I have served in a Teaching/Worship
Ministry among the body of Christ, both locally and internationally. 
If as you pray the Lord encourages you to believe Pacificministries is
worthy of your support and prayers then we trust it will be His kingdom
you are supporting, and not ours. If He leads you to support this
ministry we firmly believe your gifts of assistance will result in
glory to His name.

Because biblically there is no justification for the concept of a hired professional clergy, we make no attempt to pressure the body for anything that looks like that type of thing. As ones called, per 1 Corinthians 9: to establish and strengthen the body of Christ globally, and Galatians 6 : to teach the body of Christ principles for walking successfully with the Lord, we are very appreciative of the financial assistance from those who believe the Lord is leading them to contribute to Pacificministries expenses.  Your giving will be used to cover general living expenses, airfares, general ministry expenses, and monies spent to support the ministries and needs of others in the body. It is our desire to encourage a purification of the use of ministry monies in the body of Christ.

For purposes of encouraging integrity in the ministry, and towards financial accountability, we have a council who help us oversee all the monies received into this ministry.  We do not support any form of extravagance or wealth making from ministry monies.  We believe in living a moderate lifestyle.

We bless you in this season of the Kingdom's finest hour!

Darrell and Carlene


P.O. Box 1401
Port Townsend, WA 98368

Pacificministries Itinerary

April 23-25          Northwest Gathering of Leaders in Wenatchee Washington
April 26               Worship at the River
April 27-May 5    Seoul Korea
May 7-8               Cascadia Regional Gathering in Spokane Washington
May 14-18           House Church gathering in Victoria B.C.
May 31                May Rendezvous