Learn more about our upcoming 5 day event and more about private life coaching and spiritual direction sessions
What Does Freedom Look Like?
I recently asked Jesus this question: “What does freedom look like?”
He immediately brought to mind the picture of the Israelites walking through the Red Sea escaping slavery… BUT … NOT grumbling and complaining in the wilderness wanting to go back to slavery …which, sadly, is what the Israelites did …and as a result died in the wilderness, not entering the promised land. It was only the next generation who were allowed to enter the Promised Land.
Today, I reflect on this promise: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:17
And I read this from Nicky Gumbel…from his ‘Bible in One Year’ readings…
Love and unity go hand in hand. The Tower of Babel is the symbol of disunity (Genesis 11:1–9). The people said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves’ (v.4). This act of pride and power-seeking led to disunity, symbolised in the confusion of different languages in the world. ‘The Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth’ (v.9).
The day of Pentecost was the reversal of Babel. The Holy Spirit enables people to say: ‘each of us hears them [speaking] in our native language’ (Acts 2:8). The gift of tongues symbolises the fact that the Holy Spirit reverses the disunity of Babel and unites all peoples and languages.
This is a common experience today as we see the Holy Spirit bringing love and unity across churches, languages and nations.
Lord, may we never seek to make a name for ourselves or our own church, denomination or movement. Rather, may we seek to glorify your name. Pour out your Spirit, O Lord, on the church as on the day of Pentecost. May there be a reversal of Babel. May there be an end to disunity. May your Spirit and the values of the kingdom of God bring love, joy, peace, true happiness and unity.
As I continue to reflect on …what God is calling us to BE as the church …building God’s kingdom, rather than our own little kingdoms, this rings so beautifully.
Questions to Reflect on:
- Where have we been trying to make a name for ourselves? (Rather than lifting up the name of Jesus?)
- Where have we settled, perhaps becoming complacent, becoming stuck in ruts?
- Where have we been looking backwards to the past?
- Have we perhaps been controlling or manipulating a ‘move of God’ without asking for more of Holy Spirit?
- Are we open to God moving outside the box in the future, no matter what He brings?
- Ask the Lord, “What do you have next?”
Invite Holy Spirit to fall on your family, your friendships, your gatherings and be ready for anything that looks different than what you’re used to.
*Be prepared to fast and pray for days… God longs to invite us into friendship with Him rather than just giving us marching orders.
Did you know that in world history, all the Revivals look differently? They each look like Jesus but not like each other. People may reject Jesus’ move of Holy Spirit when He doesn’t fit their box. Let us not be people who reject God’s Spirit because He doesn’t fit our traditions.
“Holy Spirit lead us to be ready for each new day of what you are doing. Thank you for your move in the past, but let us not settle and build our own little kingdoms around your movements. Let us instead, build your Kingdom by following your every move! Yes & Amen! 💗🙌
Quote Source: https://www.bibleinoneyear.org/bioy/commentary/3171
What Changed for Me? (Ashes to Beauty)
Friends recently asked me what changed in my life this past year that brought on so much blessing, healing, and crazy adventures of delight and joy in Jesus.
I’ve been pondering this…
“God, why have you shown such grace and mercy?”
I have seen God do some INCREDIBLE things.
(This summer, I watched God bring on 70 physical healings (from torn ligaments, clenched jaws, scoliosis, injured necks, sprained ankles…) in teenagers I was sent to lead, along with hearts surrendered to a new full life in Jesus!)
…On top of this, I have the joy of leading people through inner healing sessions with Jesus and getting a front row seat to Him doing mighty things! Adults and teens in depression, anxiety, and addiction are experiencing deep healing by hearing God’s voice.
Every day I come home from work, I feel like I just saw Jesus perform another miracle.
How did this all begin to happen?
I look back…
Less than a year ago, I had the unfortunate job of confronting a man who’s behaviours negatively impacted multiple families including his own. Jesus helped me realize that his patterns of behaviour towards me and others were out of fear (which leads to manipulation and control, and in this case emotional and spiritual abuse). Yet, in order to break this cycle of fear, I chose to confront him in love. Jesus strongly put it on my heart that I was to pray over the man for him to know that God’s love is greater than our fear. (Yes, this sounds humanly impossible to pray over a such a person. Only by the power of God can you do such a thing for someone who hurt others. I take no credit.)
The man wept, but only in sorrow. (Read: “5 Languages of Apology” by Dr Chapman to learn the difference between sorrow and repentance) I left in peace with a strong boundary, and I moved on… ‘dusting off my feet’.
I had no idea what would come next…
God is SO good.
For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit gives you mighty power, love, and sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7
There are basically 2 motives in our lives for why we do what we do…
Since that day, my health (in all aspects) improved like crazy. LIKE CRAZY. Could it be that walking in boldness brought on more of God’s power? …and more of His love and sound mind (and authority).
It appears the act of confronting someone in love and peace, seemed to immediately cut off the word curses once spoken over me and released healing and power flowing out to others like a bottle uncorked. (Confronting an abuser took lots of guided help. Do not try this on your own.)
Would you like God’s power, love and self-control to become ‘uncorked’?
Questions for you:
Is there someone in your life who has hurt you?
Invite Holy Spirit to come… and then…
Ask Jesus: “How do you see this person? How do you feel about this person?”
What He will show you will blow your mind! God wants to loan us His perspective on people and situations in our lives.
Ask Jesus: “What are you calling me to do, if anything for this situation/person?”
What Jesus shows you can transform the place you are in.
Share it with trusted advisors to pray with you.
Whether you are called to confront someone, or simply pray a release over them…,
Jesus waits for us to be ready to step into His resting place in order to blow us away with what He wants to do next…
Like I said to the teens I was ministering to this summer… “Are you ready to get wrecked by God’s mind blowing love?!” 😀
Check this out…
Paul Prays for Love to Overflow
14 …I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. 16 And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.
17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.
18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!
20 Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.
Ephesians 3:14-20 (TPT)
Jesus invites you to lay down your burdens at Jesus’ feet for Him to handle.
Then, walk forward in freedom and get ready to watch God do some mighty things!
(And if you have burdens that won’t go… and you need a life coach/spiritual director, feel free to contact me directly. I would delight in walking with you to Jesus’ freedom gift for you too.)
Recommended Reading: “5 Languages of Apology” by Dr Chapman
Jesus Longs for His Church to Come Alive
I loved reading a book over the weekend written by a pastor who was told he needed to leave his institutional church in order to protect his health. Today, he leads a movement that has reached multiple countries.
Below is a quote from his wife excerpted from his book:
“The Revolution is happening – it’s happening all over the world.
We are in a Reformation.
Acknowledge it or not.
Be a part of it or not.
Jesus longs for his church to come alive, to become a living, breathing organism. He longs for us to be in a real, live, intimate relationship with Him, regardless of others – and then in real, live relationship with our families – earthly and spiritual.
And, He’s begging us to come alive, be who we are as individuals, alive and free in Him, telling the world who and what He has done for us…
The enemy accepts that Christianity is in the world… but if he can just contain us, keep us from contaminating others, there’s little to worry about. If he can contain us in buildings, then the world will not know the truth and few will be set free. But what I saw in Kenya, I also see in America and other parts of the world.
The virus is leaking.
The Reformation of the 21st Century, led by the Holy Spirit, is taking Christianity out of containers into the open spaces of the neighborhoods and nations of the world.”
(Brooks & Roger Thoman. Simple/House Church Revolution (Kindle Locations 137-141). Download and read for free at: https://www.simplechurchrevolution.com)
He writes on his website:
“In time, we began to see that this ‘paradigm shift’ (from institutional church to disciple making movement) was preparing us to train leaders in the multiplication of disciples, simple churches, and leaders. …we saw tremendous fruit as disciples could quickly reproduce disciples and churches…
God used a dark season of our life to birth new purposes that were far above and beyond anything we might have dreamed on our own!”
(Learn more at: https://appleseedministry.com/about )
My Dream for the Church in Canada
What do you long for, for the Church in Canada or even all of North America?
One day while on a rest leave during my time as an institutional church pastor, in desperation, I asked the Lord what His dream was for the church – both local and global. I began to write pages and this is what came out. I would later share this with my church leadership at the time and I was met with grown men weeping. It has since reached other church networks around the world.
Come dream with me…
My (God’s) Dream for the Church in Canada
I pray for the Church to be so blessed by, and hungry and thirsty for Holy Spirit.
I dream of…
- People hungrily meditating on the Living Word… not for knowing about God, but for knowing Him personally and for heart transformation, enjoying rich fellowship, breaking bread together with loving hearts, fervent praying, sharing with each other in unity, worshiping God together, joyfully serving together, giving, empowering, with external missional focus, flowing in love and grace.
- People bearing fruit of Holy Spirit because they are first abiding in Christ, seeking His kingdom (not our own), relying on the strength of Holy Spirit and not on human talent or ambition.
- God wanting to draw the Church closer to Himself and away from relying on tradition and mere intellect. (People are hungry for testimony and spiritual relationship with a relational God. We are in a post-modern age of people who want to know our story, not how much we know.) God is wanting us to be in love with Him, trusting Holy Spirit, truly doing life with Him that we are willing to hear His voice because we are His sheep, and He is our Shepherd.
- The Church being a community of dreamers and not dream squashers.
- Love being the greatest in the Church– because principles without love is legalism / rules without relationship leads to rebellion / because lacking in love and lacking in 2 way relational prayer puts tradition and religion in the way of the Gospel.
- The Church introducing people to our loving God, and showing His love, with people being drawn to Him and His abundant life within us, instead of spending our energies on arguing, and aligning with the enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
- The Church understanding that lingering and resting in God’s love is the starting place. We do not earn His love by doing things for Him, nor do we earn other people’s love by serving. We serve out of loving intimacy with our Father – practicing prayer, rest and worship, and not serving out of anxiety, guilt, neediness, and a never-ending to-do list.
- The Church known as a community that lovingly develops leaders and not as the organization that burns out leaders and volunteers.
- The Church playing a strong part in bringing God’s love to the world, truly knowing His love and showing His love to each other.
- The Church becoming a community where broken relationships are restored because of a hunger for righteousness and God’s love far above a hunger to be right.
- The Church being a community where friendships are forged for building God’s kingdom and not for meeting selfish needs.
- The Church as being a community of inclusive welcome and not exclusive cliques.
- The Church being a community of loving, edifying language that is helpful for building up the community.
- The Church being known for admitting mistakes and seeking to repair and restore hurts previously caused in Church history.
I dream of…
- Disciples multiplying disciples because they are simply contagious in their faith.
- Every day, the Church people experiencing Divine appointments and conversations with people on the street, in the marketplace, etc.
- People who can’t help but bring the presence of God everywhere they go. If you seek to build a church, you rarely produce disciples…If you seek to make disciples, you get the church.
- Each believer praying for God to give them 3-5 people to invest life in for the next 12 months, and challenging them at the end of 12 months to replicate the process, and watching what God does. Jesus spent 90 percent of his time with 12 men and a few women. And out of that, he focused on three: James, John, and Peter.
I dream of…
- Men being spiritual fathers and women being spiritual mothers.
- Men recognizing women as sisters in Christ.
- Women recognizing men as brothers in Christ and not threats to favour, or competition.
- Women seeing each other as sisters in building God’s kingdom and not threats to friendship or favour.
- Women with leadership gifts not seen as usurping Christ’s authority but seen as faithful stewards of their gifts.
- Holy Spirit not being quenched in the silencing of both women and men.
- Women finding the Church to be a place of freedom and safety – empowered to bear His image and serve faithfully.
- Men finding the Church to be a community of safety where they don’t have to be stoic, but can be authentic and vulnerable with other men, with no shame of sharing struggles because Holy Spirit’s love is stronger.
I dream of…
- The Church being a community of celebration and empowering each other – rather than comparison and competition.
- A people who seek to bless each other during gatherings – seeing themselves as priestly brothers and sisters partnering with any hired pastors.
- Children celebrated and encouraged as powerful prayer warriors, worshipers and kingdom builders, that they inspire their parents, their teachers, and their friends with their faith, their prayers, and their unselfish service.
- Youth so hungry and thirsty to see God at work, that the older generation is inspired and blessed to join them in the hunger and thirst – not caring if their music is loud, their jeans have holes, or arms have tattoos because their hearts are filled with grace.
- The older generation recognizing the younger as arrows to invest in, craft and shape with gentle loving care (Titus 2 intentional discipleship of the next generation).
- Families adopting other families into a discipleship lifestyle.
- Couples mentoring other couples in marriage.
- Parents mentoring other parents in the journey.
- Parents discipling their children and partnering with the Church (who is intentionally discipling parents), rather than expecting volunteers and leaders to do it all.
- Pastors equipping the saints to do the work of ministry, not the pastor or the staff executing all the ministry.
- Pastors leading with a kingdom mindset – not envious of other leaders/ministry areas.
- Congregation seeking to bless and pray for leaders and not worshiping them as idols or resorting to devour them when expectations are unmet.
- Pastors, elders, and congregation loving and trusting each other in transparency.
I dream of…
- The Church viewing hardship as necessary to rest in our identity and rise up against the enemy’s lies and proving God’s goodness.
- Leaders resting in patience and perseverance to stand ground in Holy Spirit conviction, not intimidated by fear of people or money. People may choose to leave, but Spirit-led leaders stand their ground.
- The Church not afraid of people, or money leaving the Church when we stand for truth, because we worship a God who has the largest bank in the universe and we are building His kingdom, not our own. He cares more about our obedience and sacrifice than people-pleasing which is idolatry.
- The Church believing God is working something out on our behalf.
- The Church going in with a few small stones and trusting God to deliver as we stand up against intimidation of Goliath or like the little boy with his lunch not expecting to eat a bite only to discover God can feed a crowd and provide leftovers.
- Fear not being our motivating factor, but Faith!
- Choosing to fight from victory, rather than for victory.
- God seeing that He can then trust us, and birth a greater anointing over us and trust us with more.
- The Church being a community that selects pastors only because Holy Spirit called us to appoint them.
- The Church not being afraid of bad reports like the spies to Canaan, but instead we trust in God who has promised us the land and His protection.
- The Church being an apostolic sending station/missional outpost/church planting/kingdom building church – to the city, the province, the country, and around the world.
- The Church in Canada continuing to financially provide for missionaries while seeing themselves as daily missionaries too.
- People going out healing the sick, bringing life from death, driving out evil in Jesus name.
- The Church moving outside the doors of buildings to bring the love and kindness of God to the city and beyond recognizing that Jesus left the building. (Interestingly, statistics still indicate that people are leaving the church in North America in increasing numbers to find …Jesus.)
- The Church seeing the bigger picture together of kingdom building, dreaming and listening to Holy Spirit for each assignment.
- The Church not limiting who is allowed to spread the Gospel of God’s redeeming love based on gender, or age, or education, etc… but on the anointing of Holy Spirit.
I dream of…
- Prayer (2 way conversations with God) being a main activity because we are hungry for the voice and move of God – in community, not with just one person praying at the front, but clusters in homes, in gyms, in the sanctuaries, prayer walks throughout Church buildings and neighbourhoods, and throughout the city as the Spirit leads because we are commissioned with the building of God’s kingdom.
- The Church not guilty of silencing God’s voice by shying away from facilitating corporate prayer in gatherings and events because it may cause seekers or even long time followers to feel uncomfortable. I dream of the Church to be unapologetically a House of Prayer where people can take part and listen in on the greatest 2-way conversation we have ever been gifted, and to come away knowing they were in the presence of God and His people.
I dream of…
- The Church not driven by flesh, or fear, not by arrogance, and not making each other angry or resorting to jealousy, but being a Spirit-led church as in Galatians 5 – being a loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled family who daily die to self, and who live by Holy Spirit. When God’s people truly follow Him both in Spirit, and in Truth, His kingdom increases and a world is introduced to His true nature. Hallelujah!
How do we turn these dreams into reality? Pray them! 🙂
For myself, I once crafted a 31 days of prayer guide to ask Holy Spirit to lead and fill the Church in Canada.
Are We Seeking God’s Kingdom?
Graham Cooke speaking to men… about building the church and seeking God’s kingdom …Powerful.
Watch short clip below…
If you’d like to watch the full video…
(skip through announcements to about 6:42 or even 9:40…)
Read the book: Permission Granted to Do Church Differently in the 21st Century
Can God trust us to anoint us?
Can God trust us as the church today in order to anoint us?
We have 2 options…
(A Divine Confrontation by Graham Cooke)
Thoughts to Ponder:
Friendships led by the Holy Spirit lead to God’s power and anointing!
How are you investing in the relationships around you?
What is your motivation in investing in others? For yourself? For their own growth?
How are you allowing the Holy Spirit to lead in your relationships?
Wind of the Spirit
Your wind is blowing across this lonely land.
We are Your messengers, Your touch is in our hands.
Use us, Lord Jesus, to care for our friends.
Help us to love them, it’s Your great command.
Oh, wind of the Spirit,
fill the sails of my soul –
send us on, Lord, let your wind blow!
Your Spirit is moving with power and might.
We’ll walk together by faith, not by sight.
You’re calling an army to rise up and fight.
We’ll be Your soldiers, flooding darkness with light!
“25 years ago my first studio album, and it’s title track, Wind of the Spirit was released. That song found its way all over the world and into the hearts of many. Many guitar players first chords were that classic progression up the fret board and countless people identify with the song as a marker on their life and faith journey. Maybe you do too? With that release, we were propelled into the world of music and a fresh vision of following Jesus.” – Russ Rosen (http://russrosenband.com/news)
Russ Rosen Band. Lyrics by Russ Rosen, Sandy Rosen and Mike Oshiro, music by Russ Rosen, lead vocals by Mike Oshiro produced by Roy Salmond.
We All Need Counseling
We all need a helper, a teacher, a mentor, a counselor. I’m grateful that EVERY ONE of us has been invited to such a person. …My prayer: “Dear Jesus, thank you that because of you, everyone of us can have a right relationship with our Creator. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit who is our constant guide and Counselor. Help me to remember to constantly depend on Him and not solely on myself or solely on others around me who will only let me down time after time. Help my friends and family to continually open their hearts and minds to you, to stop striving on their own, to stop trying to do life on their own. Thank you again for this incredible gift that so many of us take for granted, or so many of us have never experienced. I pray that they can see Him at work in my life in order to be introduced and drawn to fullness in Him. In the name of the Lord Jesus, Amen.”
“I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don’t see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you. I won’t leave you like orphans. I will come back to you.” – Jesus (John 14:16-18)
All of Christ’s Time, Wisdom and Care… For You!
“The human spirit, while most truly possessing its own individuality and personal distinctness, is interpenetrated and energized by the Spirit of Christ.
He does not work on us from without, as one separated from us, but from within, as the very heart from which the life-blood of our spirits flows.
Christ’s omnipresence makes it possible for him to be united to, and to be present in, each believer, as perfectly and fully as if that believer were the only one to receive Christ’s fullness.
As Christ’s omnipresence makes the whole Christ present in every place, each believer has the whole Christ with him, as his source of strength, purity, life: so that each may say: ‘Christ gives all his time and wisdom and care to me!’ Such a union as this lacks every element of instability. Once formed, the union is indissoluble.” – A.H. Strong