Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Praying Friends,

Dear Praying Friends, 

After a 14 hour flight from Seattle and an hour and a half by automobile travel I arrived in Tokyo safely and in good health. And, surprisingly I slept a good eight hours and feel as if my body is adjusted to the time change.  That frequently happens to me, and I feel as if it is a great gift from the Lord.  George, a relatively new Christian picked me up from the airport.  George was born in Brazil, has Japanese ancestry, is married to a Peruvian, and together they speak nine languages.  He has been working here in Tokyo for the last six years.  George spoke very good English and had amazing story of God's salvation and healing in his family.  I immediately bonded with him, and I felt it was a great beginning to this trip. I first visited Japan eight years ago when I was a substitute Youth with a Mission speaker.  Jean Darnall, one of our heroes in the faith, asked me to speak for her.  During that assignment, the Lord gave me a series of dreams and visions with regard to this country's prophetic destiny.  Driving from the airport, I noticed office buildings filled with busy workers.  Many Japanese work some 14 hours a day, and the nation is desperate to experience the Father's love and true joy. Over the next four days, I will speak at Harvest Bible University during the day, and at Pastor Kim's church in the evening.  He is hosting the meetings and we will visit five cities including Osaka and Okinawa over the next 10 days. Thank you for your covering intercessory fire.  I will post pictures and include an audio podcast in a future update. Blessings, Darrell

Sunday, November 08, 2009

When the Morning Star Rises in Our Hearts

By Francis Frangipane www.frangipane.org
It is noble that we should fight for our nation and heroic that we stand against evil. Yet, lest we despair at what seems like slow progress, let us also keep our eyes on the bigger picture. There is a day coming when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Beloved, even before that day of Christ's return, our Father has many spiritual breakthroughs awaiting the overcoming church. He will present to His Son a church radiant, clothed in Christ's character and power.

The Morning Star
The day of the Lord, like the dawning of any calendar day, does not burst forth abruptly. It is not pitch black at 5:59 a.m. and then, suddenly, bright morning the next minute. The night sky gradually recedes, rolling back from the approaching light of day. In the process of time transitioning from night to day, another event occurs: before the dawn breaks, the morning star begins to shine on the eastern horizon. It is a faithful herald of the coming day.

This unique morning "star" is not an actual star at all, it is the planet Venus. In the morning it is situated in our sky above the eastern horizon, appearing at the right place and at the right time to "see" the sun and announce to those in darkness, the day is soon at hand. The morning star is a small, yet brilliant preview of the light which is about to come.

The picture of the morning star serves well the biblical image of what God seeks to do with the true church at the end of the age. Concerning the end times, listen well to Peter’s words:

"So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19).

Peter’s statement is weighty, providing inspired vision concerning one dramatic phase of end-time events. Peter speaks of the "morning star" rising in the hearts of God’s people before the Lord returns. Remember, the significance of the morning star is that it appears as a herald while it is still night. It can’t be seen during the day. But here, Peter tells us that before the millennial "day [of the Lord ] dawns," in anticipation of Christ’s return, the morning star shall rise in our hearts!

You see, there is a glory coming for the overcomer at the end of the age. When I say "glory," I mean the living presence of Christ in us will increasingly manifest through us. As Paul wrote, "For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh" (2 Cor. 4:11).
I am talking about the actual, substantial life of Jesus being "manifested in our mortal flesh." I know some of us are caught up with the issues of our lives, but we need to keep our eyes on the vision of where God is taking us! I also know some will distort what I’m saying. But, simply, at the end of the age, God has purposed to reveal Himself through His people.

So, when we speak of the morning star, we are not referring to some New Age doctrine but the actual spiritual "wattage" of God’s presence increasing. We know that such luminescence does not emanate from ourselves; it comes from our union with the Lord Jesus, and it is worked in us through the Holy Spirit as we grow into full conformity with Christ’s words.

Yet, there is something to heed here. Over and over again, Jesus warned about His followers becoming preoccupied with the world or weary in the battle. Let us remember, it is to those who overcome that Jesus says, "I will give him the morning star" (Rev. 2:28). And then He says that He Himself is the "bright morning star" (Rev. 22:16).

A day is coming before the rapture, before the second coming of Jesus Christ, when those who follow Christ will be positioned, like the morning star - in the right place at the right time - and they will herald Christ’s return. They will come from every nation, people, tribe and tongue, yet they will be one, for Christ will have given them His glory (John 17:22).

I am not saying we won’t sin; temptation will always be in our world. Yet, if we stay true to Christ, if we don’t allow ourselves to be swallowed up in the cares and issues of this age, a time will come when the presence of the Lord Jesus, like the morning star, will rise and be visibly seen upon us. At that time, the word of Isaiah the prophet shall be fulfilled, which says,

"Arise, shine ; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising."
- Isaiah

The Church: Building and Body

Friends....

This message is short, sweet, profound, confirming, and so fundamentally foundational that I wanted to include it on the blog. This will prove to be the answer to what motivates us to do church as we do.

dd

By Graham Cooke www.grahamcooke.com
The paradox of the church as a building and a body is an intriguing one. The Apostle Paul compares the church to a building in Ephesians 2:19-22—

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

This is the absolute, ideal, intentional will of God. In our friendships and fellowship, we are to be a habitation for Him. This doesn’t mean more meetings! Jesus didn’t come and say, “I’m here that you might have meetings and might have them more abundantly.” No, He came to bring us a life, a life which is formed in the pool of relationships. God is seen most clearly in who we are together, how we share with one another, how we see each other, how we love each other, and how we support one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” Jesus said in John 13:35.

The western church has settled for trying to have brilliant meetings. Personally, I don’t think God cares too much about having meetings. In the New Testament, He only talks about meeting twice, and one of those times, He only says, “Don’t forget to meet.” That’s half the revelation right there. The other half talks about creativity: “When you meet, you could do this or this or this.” He doesn’t nail anything down or tell us when, where, and how to meet. The form of our meetings ought to be led by the ultimate creative force, the Holy Spirit.

Peter added to the building theme in 1 Peter 2:4-5—

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The spiritual sacrifice we are called to make is to put our friends ahead of ourselves. Honoring someone else more than we want to be honored is the best way to increase the meaning of our own lives. A true apostle, or father or mother, doesn’t care about themselves as much as they care about you. They want you to have the blessing. They produce thousands of sons and daughters and equip them to become fathers and mothers themselves. Their work is selfless and generous. They are consistent and intentional.

Spiritual sacrifice calls us to lay down our lives for each other. We help one another achieve great things. Their success is more important than our own. We don’t protect what we have but think of ways to give it to someone else.

The church has a precious Cornerstone, and when we believe in Him, we cannot be disappointed. We live in relationship with others the same way we live with God. How we treat them reflects how we treat Him. If we see our lives as a contribution, we cannot be disappointed. If we live as a giver, we can’t help but receive. But when we hoard, we lose everything.

In Ephesians 1:22-23, Paul compared the church to a body—“And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Sadly, I don’t know of many churches moving in the fullness of Christ. But this must be our goal. It is an amazing challenge to think about. What would the fullness of God look like in a church, a city, a region, and a country? What would happen if churches all around the world returned to their sacred purposes?

In renewal, we rediscover a passion for Jesus. In revival, we rediscover a compassion for the lost. Reformation occurs when the church, full of both that passion and compassion, breaks out into the world and starts making goodness fashionable. It becomes like Pentecost, where walls cannot contain us and we spill into the community. The walls of the church are knocked flat as the world sees a people who know how to live as a habitation for God.

I’ve watched as churches have prayed non-stop for God to move and wondered why little has happened. What is it about us that makes God hold off on answering our prayers? I suspect that He would love to birth thousands of spiritual babies but that He can’t trust us to properly care for them yet. What if He doesn’t want new Christians to be born into churches with a religious mindset? What if He doesn’t want to pour new people into a system that will gobble them up? As prophetic voices and church leaders, we need to wrestle with these questions.

Paul loved the metaphor of body life so much that he mentioned it again in both Colossians 1:15-18 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. But how can a church be both a building and a body at the same time? How can it be rigid yet fluid, immovable yet constantly moving? The church, as a building, is about being something. But the church, as a body, is about doing something. The building metaphor gets us thinking about the things we should be, the aspect of fellowship, and how it relates to our character. The body metaphor is about love for each other, and understanding that we each have unique gifts and uses.

Today’s church is built on a paradigm—a one-dimensional view of church as a functional, purpose-driven, task oriented people whose lives are grouped around meetings.

But all spirituality is paradoxical where we experience the "both/and" elements of complete opposites... such as building and body; servants and sons; relational and functional partnerships. The issue in a paradox is "what takes precedence when we are under pressure?" That must be friendships, character, intimacy and oneness of heart.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Pacificministries Novermber 2009 Update


Friends,







I have been guilty of complicating the gospel.  It is simply... good news.  And the good news is the marvel of hearing God's voice and learning to respond with intentionality. When we gather at the River we desire to seek Him and in meeting us, His voice emerges. There are words of encouragement, trumpet-shofar duets, prophetic proclamations, banner declarations, periods of silence, and more.  







Last month during our Worship at the River gathering, we were privileged to bring encouraging words to two young couples and a young man all from the Yucat√°n region of Mexico. For the past several years they have been discipled by Josh and Mary Hubbard with the anticipation and vision of returning to their homeland with a fresh testimony of Jesus and of what He has done.  It's admittedly a bit unusual... sort of missions in reverse.  







This past weekend Carlene and I together with Wayne and Eliza Miller (interpretor extraordinaire) joined them for a Port Townsend retreat.  We feasted on Mexican rice, Chili Verdi, Ivar's famous clam chowder, and were blessed with a Sunday morning sunshine filled ferry ride to Whidbey Island. We


laughed, worshiped, and listened to their histories of hopes and dreams.  Josh had transcribed and translated the 20 minute prayer and prophetic proclamation recording of last month's Worship at the River gathering, and over the weekend, the Holy Spirit confirmed God's words. We finished by commissioning 


these nation changers into the Father's hand.  Lots of tears, joy, and affirmation.







 We have the privilege and commission to worship, intercede, and partner with God and bring heaven to earth.  We are not the only gathering in the Northwest for this purpose, and we recognize all believers can partner with God for His Kingdom. 







Graham Cooke in his latest newsletter says:


 


In our friendships and fellowship, we are to be a habitation for Him. This doesn’t mean more meetings! Jesus didn’t come and say, “I’m here that you might have meetings and might have them more abundantly.” No, He came to bring us a life, a life which is formed in the pool of relationships. God is seen most clearly in who we are together, how we share with one another, how we see each other, how we love each other, and how we support one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” Jesus said in John 13:35










We welcome and honor the Holy Spirit and all Nation Changers (that's YOU), to Worship at the River this Sunday evening at 6 p.m.

















Itinerary







November 18-26    Thanksgiving in Minnesota with grandson!







December 1-15      Japan and Singapore (e-mail update to come)







No December Worship at the River   







January  10 Worship at the River