Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

31 July 2008

A rich man in a poor man's shirt

Well I took a piss at fortune's sweet kiss
It's like eatin' caviar and dirt
It's a sad funny ending to find yourself pretending
A rich man in a poor man's shirt

Bruce Springsteen in Better Days



30 July 2008

As Morning Dawns and Evening fades


I spent last night with my friends in the palliative care unit at the Brantford General Hospital gathered around a friend in a very strange position. By medical accounts... Joy is loosing a battle with cancer very quickly. But the 15 of us gathered in her room last night don't buy it. We spent hours praying for healing... listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying... and laughing together as friends do.

Death is weird. The Bible says that there is no sting. But it stings. I believe that God can show us what's going on in the spiritual realm if we stop, look and listen. And every time I've stopped, looked, and listened to what the Spirit's saying... God's been showing me pictures of Joy being Joyful. Dancing with Jesus. Laying on an air mattress on a blue ocean soaking up the warmth of the glory of God. Swimming in river from Ezekiel's vision.

I'll say it again... death is weird. So is believing for healing. Because we desparately want Joy to stand up and walk out of the hospital healthy and many would see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. But the no sting part of death is because whatever happens in the next 3 days... Joy is STILL with Jesus going from glory to glory. She's been with him for 40 years. She's with him now. She'll be with him in 3 days. And she'll be with him in 10,000 years bright shining as the sun... still going from glory to glory. There's a whole lotta "no sting" in that truth.

This is a poem that God gave me a couple of days ago:

As morning dawns and evening fades;
the shadow that once loomed winces, exposing what she could anxiously see unfolding.
For a moment, she stands still... just to look.
After being a hearer of His Name,
After being learner of His Name,
After being a doer of His Name,
She sits down with a comfortable sigh on her quilted rocking chair in the temple court;
and becomes a feeler of His Name.

As morning dawns and evening fades;
the sound of the voices shouting from realms of victory, resonate in the highlands and echo through the lowlands.
Hear, oh men of the men of Issachar.
Hear and understand.
Hear, oh women of the women of the Word,
Hear and know what is true.

As morning dawns and evening fades;
the murmurs of the weak speak the faithless tongue of the old country...
...but what does their frail mumbling count for in a place such as this?

Those who see and hear... have seen and heard.
Woe to those who see dark as light.
Woe to those who see day as night.
Horns are blowing and Joy is glowing.
The light wins. The light wins.
We all knew the light would win!

As morning dawns and evening fades;
the tower emerges from the morning mist.
It's just like the picture in the book.
Ancient and sleek.
Tall and Winsome.
She sits on her quilted rocking chair around a happy dancing fire... eating a nameless fruit that is both familiar and exotic.


As morning dawns and evening fades;
She stops for a last moment... just to think.
About the commotion.
About the grapple.
About the collisions.
She knows what they know; and she knows... what they don't.
But they will.
All of them will.
She sighs a sigh of relief and smiles as her lungs fill with honey-touched air.
As the sun peeks over the horizon, she picks up her brightly woven bag and begins to walk;
knowing wherever it is she's going... her quilted rocking chair will be waiting there for her.

Dave Carrol

Does it mean stop contending for healing? Heck no! God is big and powerful and holds the WHOLE WORLD in His hands. That's something POWERFUL to stand with!

Please keep praying for Joy. You can check out Joy's blog here. You can even leave her a comment. My friend Andrea is collecting them and reading them to her mom.


------------------------

4:15PM

Joy died this afternoon... surrounded by her family. She woke up in a place where pain doesn't exist... filled her lungs with honey-touched air... and experienced full healing. Just like we prayed.

29 July 2008

Dang this real job

Ever have a million things you want to be able to,

do
say
write
think
plan...

But you're too busy doing the things you wish you didn't have to,

do
say
write
think
plan?

I do.

27 July 2008

Jumpin in the House

I did one of my favorite things today in church. I lay flat out, face down on the floor while everyone jumped around me.

There are lots of things about our Big Blue House that I WON'T miss. Bathrooms... leaks... Dungeon lighting...

But the old bar room floor moves with the dancers baby. And when Freedom House gets all free and parties...

... I love laying face down on the floor and feeling the ground move.

Please Pray today OK?

From my friend Joy Bacon's blog (written by her daughter Andrea) ...


Pass it on

25 July 2008

It's THAT time of the month...

... where I take a look at the best, wackiest, rudest, oddest... Google searches that found Big Ear!

You thought I was talking about my period didn't you? With the ovaries and the eggs and all? No no friend. I DO NOT have a single fallopian tube in my (as Steve Martin would say) "special purpose". Silly Blog reader.

Quite a collection this month if I do say so myself. Little bit blue this time... but that's how I roll eh.



Oh man oh man oh man... Steve Miller is gonna be PISSED when he sees this. And you know how he can be when his lyrics get botched. I know he loves me... that's why he has to hit.






That will be fun at holidays. At least you'll be able to find common ground with "Pork Disdain"




Not a bad idea. But for no more than 40 days OK? Then go back to porn. Actually... don't go back to porn.




Depends. The Female has a number of fun uses. Both practical and "otherwise". Rrrrow! The Male nipple however is very simple. It sits on my chest and gets covered in hair. Yum.




Thank you Alex... The question is "Who are two people who would have nothing to talk about?".




I don't think I have one of those. I mean these... I mean... the picture, the picture. Wait a second... do YOU have a picture?




Is that like the official term of what the Beverly Hillbillies were?

"A hat. It combines the spirit of old Mexico with a little big city panache. I like to call it the Urban Sombrero."
Elaine Benes





Oh I don't think you meant to search for that. Like... I know he has many gold gloves and all but...




Oh don't you tell me that there was a racist remark on Market Street! I won't hear of such nonsense. In April you say? Rubbish.




I think that was a Wesley wasn't it?




No no silly. Melons ARE Viagra. Remember?




They may be in my bathroom... but they WILL NOT be drinking any Red Red Wine on the new carpet. I don't know what that means.




I don't know about Starbucks... but I always suspected Juan Valdez. Let's start an Internet rumor... OK?




Why?


No really...


Why?

I'm afraid of you sir. Or Mame? (Gagging a bit)





If I was ever going to get an Aislin tattoo... it would be this one. She's my princess eh.



24 July 2008

Life's an adventure... not an insurance commercial

"The greatest opposition to what God is doing today comes from those who were on the cutting edge of what God was doing yesterday.”
R.T. Kendall, former pastor of Westminster Chapel in London in his book, "The Anointing"


I have a hard time thinking about "today" let alone "yesterday". I get that "today" is important... it's something that I always have to work at doing... but "yesterday"? What's the point? Who cares what happened yesterday. Looking back too much can get you into trouble. Biblically... looking back rarely results in good things. Ask Mrs Lot!

God even gives us the gift of prophesy to be able to see into the future. I don't remember the gift of remembering. Even the end of Matthew 6 that tells us to focus on today... is so that we can focus on tomorrow... tomorrow.

30-33"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

It's never about what happened yesterday... thinking about going back... or staying put... or fighting for the stagnant. It's relaxing in the daily provision and letting go of our worries and preparing to do again tomorrow wherever that path leads.

Life's an adventure... not an insurance commercial.

23 July 2008

You know what sucks?

When your wife can go to sleep in seconds... and it takes you


much


much


much


longer.

Then again, I nearly fell asleep standing up at about 6:30pm at a t-ball game yesterday. Go figure.

And we whine about gas prices



It costs me 80 or so Canadian dollars to fill up my Ford Windstar. So in Zimbabwean dollars that would be... 2.6 Trillion dollars.

Why should you care?
Because this is still happening.



And he needs those eggs...



Nkosi Sikeleli Africa

22 July 2008

A flavorful stew of the semi-interesting and somewhat offensive

Let's play a game... I've got a flavorful stew of the semi-interesting and somewhat offensive things that have piqued my interest lately. I challenge you to give me your thoughts on each point using 3 words or less... OK? And go.

1. Anne Jackson from FlowerDust.net and her church called Crosspoint in Nashville have been blogging their way through a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. A few days ago she posed a question that I have asked each time I've left North America...


2. Did you realize that at the time John Lennon made the "bigger than Jesus" quote... he thought of the Beatles as a Christian band? (Whole story here)

“It’s just an expression meaning the Beatles seem to me to have more influence over youth than Christ,” he says. “Now I wasn’t saying that was a good idea, ‘cos I’m one of Christ’s biggest fans. And if I can turn the focus on the Beatles on to Christ’s message, then that’s what we’re here to do.”



3. This is a quote from Jack Nicklaus at the British open about the differences in life for him as a golfer and the way it is today.

"When we played golf, it wasn't to make a living," Nicklaus said. "It was to make a name for yourself so you could make a living."


4. One more "the state of sports" quote. This is from new (and old) Toronto Blue Jays hitting coach Gene Tenace about his relationship with his wife.

"You know, when I proposed to her, I told her I was going to give her an out. I told her she could have my heart but that baseball would always have my soul. She said she'd take the heart."


5. This is from my sister Jenn's blog written about leaving Liberia. On her way to the airport, her transport was mobbed and jostled by a crowd demanding to have one the passengers thrown to the mob! (whole blog here)

"...deep down, I live with the attitude that 'it will all work itself out'. I guess most people would call this naivety. I have had too many experiences convincing me that it is God.

Because, I am too lucky to be lucky."


6. Amazing story about the 10 most racist toys ever... times MAY have changed a touch.

7. I love hearing where songs come from. Here's the story behind Chris Tomlin's "God of the City" song from Passion's new album. It was written by a band called "Bluetree". The story reminds me of my 3 days on the island of Puerto Galera in the South China Sea.

It was just simply heart breaking seeing young Philippino girl after girl hanging off the arms of old dirty white guys. I kept thinking... "it really wouldn't be THAT hard with a little work to see this whole island saved".

“We got asked to go and be part of an event called Pattaya Praise. Pattaya is a seaside town/resort place, and physically, it looks to be like the darkest place you’ll ever go to. And spiritually, it is THE darkest place we have ever been to. You just feel the evil...

...
...and we got to play for two hours. And just the way the band set up, we like using loops, and at one point I just started singing out. I started singing “Greater Things”, something along those lines, almost prophesying over the city."


8. SUCH a cool anti racism ad from South Africa (putting the darkey in the Watermelon to shame)



OK... so let's hear some 3 word comments.
Here's mine...


1. God's got plans
2. John wavered lots
3. People are soft
4. That's really dumb
5. My sister's cool
6. Hard to believe
7. Come save Brantford
8. Mandela was amazing


21 July 2008

Free Wife = Happy Life


"She’s a fox. In French, she would be called ‘la Renard’ and she would be hunted with only her cunning to protect her"
Wayne Campbell


My wife gets foxier and foxier each year. When I was in my teens and 20's I figured, according to my calculations, life really began at 30. Krissy and I are now both 31 and I'm quite sure I was right.

Over the years... my wife has got freer and freer. In every which way. There's a line in Derek Webb's new song "I wanna marry you all over again" that says, "I wanna read the Bible and I wanna make out". When we started dating, she was 18 years old. I was a 19 year old new Christian. I was puzzled that I found Krissy the most attractive while she worshiped. At first I was sure that this was living proof of my true lunacy. But it's only gotten worse over the years.

Turns out... the freer my wife gets... the foxier she gets. Husbands, back in the day were really missing out. Back when arrogant insecure men had their wives under their thumb and Lorded verse like...

Eph 5:23-24
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.


... THAT over them. I remember trying to justify this seemingly antiquated concept during pre-marital counselling too. But that verse ONLY makes sense when you follow it up with the next bit of Ephesians 5...

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.

No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That's how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become "one flesh." This is a huge mystery, and I don't pretend to understand it all

No kidding this is a mystery. But what I've found is that IT'S MY JOB to love and RELEASE my wife to become a freedom monster. Everything I do is "designed to bring the best out of her". I'm quite literally doing myself a favor in ways that can be blogged about... and lots that can't. The submission from v24 becomes a very natural pleasure.

My, now 31 year old wife, is just getting warmed up in life. She's passionate, skilled, gifted, and gorgeous. You better watch out, because she's gonna change the world in her next 31 years.

20 July 2008

I'm dripping wet from all the great camping fun

Well on one side... I got to go away camping for the "weekend". On the other side...

-An entire trailer hitch fell off
-Two separate people ripped the same tent
- We forgot the key to the boat
- I drove 55 minutes on a wild goose hunt for wood, only to pay 7 bucks a bag at the campground
- It rained... HARD... from the time we sat down for diner last night until the time we bailed on the "weekend" this morning.
- I got soaked to the bone
- I stood shirtless and shivering with other men (one touched my side with his hand. It felt warm. I liked it)
- I wore my first poncho
- Brianna decided not to sleep at night (instead she thought screeching would be a good alternative)
- I got my van stuck in the mud
- The camper door kept flying open on the highway (duct tape was the only solution).
- At one point there were 6 naked girls in my camper (all under 6).

On the plus side... um... there was... um...

oh yeah...

- Nobody got Parasites
- No former Russian Republics were overthrown this weekend.
- Steven Page did not show up with his bag of "Tide".

aaand I'll admit. It will be a funny memory. Now that it's over.

19 July 2008

Gone Camping

Oh when the saints go marching in...

About 2am or so... a man hollers at us from the other side of the street... "HEY... are you a church?" We told him, "No... we're snake-handlers... of course we're a church!"

We started chatting about our new graffiti decor and he gets a big smile on his face and says, "HEY you're the church from the paper today!" (We actually heard that a number of times tonight, usually followed by sloppy drunken high fives). We began to chat with this slight man named Dave with a British accent. Almost immediately, God said to me... "he's sick". I told Brian in a quite voice, "he's sick". 5 seconds later, Dave says, "I'm dying".

Dave was from Brantford but had lived in England for 20 years where he worked and was very successful. But Dave was given a death sentence and has come home to Brantford to be with his family... and presumably die.

Dave is a Christian. Believes in the whole gambit but is, as he puts it, "is caught between two shores". He's not afraid of dying... but believes there is more of this life to live. He is discouraged because Brantford looks worse than it did before he left... but he knows there is something that needs to happen here. Dave is at a real significant point in life.

So if you drove by down Market Street at 2:45am tonight, you would have seen three guys, sitting on bar stools, holding holds, praying and prophesying health, destiny and wisdom over each other.

If you had been in Freedom House at 3:15am, you would have seen Dave still sitting on a bar stool with an acoustic guitar singing "Oh when the saints" with a rustic British vocal paintbrush.

If you were in my den with me at 4:02am... you'd have heard me say, "Holy Crap it's late".

I'll tell you what though... some things that "polite company" (who I STILL don't think I want to have over) assume are "none of my business" are the very things that people are dying to have someone care about and even intrude into. You are the "Hope dispenser" and time is not your own. Give, give give give give give


give


Proverbs 19:17 Mercy to the needy is a loan to God,
and God pays back those loans in full.

18 July 2008

Freedom House in the News


From today's Freedom House Blog:

Freedom House has been in the Brantford Expositor in back to back days! We're movers and shakers baby. Yesterday it was because we'll be presenting our "Dora, The Incredible Hulk and a Tree" at the Brantford Rocks Festival July 26th in Harmony Square.


Here are the highlights... (Whole article here)

"Glam rock, Christian punk, country, progressive metal and a Shrek puppet show -- as befits this town's multi-faceted makeup, the coming We Love Brantford: Brantford Rocks festival will feature an eclectic entertainment lineup.

Originally intended as a showcase for local garage bands, the event was already booked for July 26 when the community was rocked by a March Maclean's magazine story painting Brantford as one of the most dangerous cities in Canada. The day then morphed into a positive celebration and a showcase for local musicians. "It's really mushroomed into this great big community lovefest."


We're the "Shrek Puppet Show". Ha! We'll be on the stage at 11:30, but we also have a booth down at the square and I'll (Dave) be MC'ing the whole day along with Jamie from BrantNOW.com so plan on coming down and hanging out to celebrate Brantford with us!

Then TODAY in the Expositor... Susan Gamble did a GREAT story about last Sunday's Church tagging fun! (Whole article here)

When a vandal "tagged" the big blue Freedom House church on Market Street last week , the offbeat minister decided to tag right back. Call him the Pastor-of-the-paint-can, or the Cleric of Colour but minister Brian Beattie led his congregation outside on Sunday and spray-painted his own church walls.

"I figured I could either get really upset or I could use it as a teaching moment," says Brian.

He pondered the move for a few days and, on Sunday, boldly preached on God engraving believers' names on His hand before leading the worshippers to the street. The tagger's work included a tag name -- Jose -- so Brian added elements to ensure the message said "God loves Jose". Then he tagged on the church name and logo, the times of services and his theme scripture for the day.

WACKY WAYS

It was a move that shocked a few, he admits, but his group is used to his wacky ways.

For instance, during the first baptism held at the building, Brian climbed in the hot tub set up for the ceremony and did a sermon as a fish. Or there's the fact that, once a year, he oversees the trucking in of a foot of sand to one of the rooms where the church holds a Hawaiian night/beach volleyball game.

"We try to make church fun because most people who go to church just endure it."

The church is also connecting with the community. Brian says most neighbours he talked to approved of his stunt.

Isn't that amazing?

I simply LOVE that Freedom House is a church that is...

Actively
Uniquely
Effectively

...involved in our community. Life together with each other and God is vibrant and full of life! The way it should be. See you tonight on the street. If you missed last week's story of what happend on the street, you should check out my (Dave) blog for the story.

Come on out... you never know what might happen!



17 July 2008

Hate


"You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do."

Anne Lamott
Bird by Bird

16 July 2008

What's up with Lakeland?

Had a few good comments about Lakeland and Todd Bentley. Thought it would make a good blog... and seeing as how I have a blog...

(Warning... this is a long one... but I'd love you to read it all and share your thoughts)

My blog friend Heidi linked me to this article about a gentleman who traveled to Lakeland with his twin 7 year old boys, one of whom is seriously autistic. They went to the meeting and a had few complaints about some of the bits and pieces (didn't get the worship, not enough Bible reading, offering decorum, etc). These are the "whatever" things. Not to disregard them, but people always have issues with these things in every context. Ask any church leader how many times they've heard that list.

It's a lot.

Then he talks about how he was told it wouldn't be until very late that they'd get around to praying for his son and was denied prayer at different points in the service. They eventually left along with many other sick people who weren't prayed for or healed.

"Neither my wife nor I regret going. It was an education. Our kids are resilient. But the ride home raised a question. We found ourselves avoiding talking about the event until the children fell asleep. Then, as they drifted off in the early morning, we talked in hushed tones about how easily religion can be abused, in this case to exploit our family. What do we tell our children? I'm still working on that one."
William A. Dembski


A few things crossed my mind about this as it's not the first article of similar nature that I've seen. The first thing that I've noticed is that people within the church seem to WANT to be skeptical about revival while secular institutions seem to WANT to believe it. I don't totally understand this phenomenon to be honest.

Paul Simon said, "faith is an island in the setting sun but proof is the bottom line for everyone". I get that... but in our lives as Christians... we fail more than we succeed. In our evangelistic outreaches, like Paul, often we're all things to all men to reach some... and more often than not... "some" is quite a generous word. Yet we still believe in God. We know that we're still being transformed by the renewing of our minds so we're not perfect and we expect grace from our brothers.

Not that it's my job to defend Todd, nor I have lots of inside knowledge... but Todd doesn't claim to be able to heal everyone. It's not his goal. It's to hear God and obey. And he admits that often people aren't healed. Does that mean that God isn't healing MORE these days? Of course not... So why do we read a news story, or go to one meeting, or watch 10 minutes on the Internet and dismiss an unorthodox Canadian hoser as exploitative? I feel for this family... I really do. But I've been following this revival story since the first week to varying degrees. I think there are some things that Lakeland IS and some things that it's NOT.

I'll admit... Todd's out there. it may be because the man spends much of his time praying. Jeff's (who is real life friend who's opinion I respect) comment on my last blog said,

"Many Christians are concerned at his very unbiblical background as well as his very bordering-on-heresy visions. Does this make him false? I don't know. But I do know that it deserves some investigation into the matter."


A while ago, I started thinking about the Old Testament prophets. How strange they would have been socially. How ostracized they would have been... and how bizarre and peculiar the "wheel within a wheel" type visions would have seemed. Or when Daniel talked with angel who brought him messages. Angels who were fighting in the 3rd heaven against the prince of Persia.

Listen... my style is different than Todd's too. But who cares? He's got a different role in the Kingdom than I do. Or you do. And who knows how different my "style" would be if I woke up, sat in the presence of God for hours and hours and really "had an ear to hear what the spirit has to say to the church" (LIKE I SHOULD BE). There aren't many of us who really do... it's one of the reason's it looks odd when we hear what comes out of the mouths of those who do. Like most times offence is taken in life... it's more our issue than theirs.

But the meat and potatoes subject is healing. I think we'd all be fine if there were a lineup of new legs and ex-leapers. About a dozen or so people from Freedom House have made the trek down to Florida and have reported very similar things.

The thick, thick, presence of God that makes it so you can't almost stand (something that marked moves of God like in Toronto and Pensacola) isn't the same. Most of our church people admitted that it's "heavier" at Freedom House. But they all noted, however, that there IS something different going on there. There is a healing "anointing" that has been tapped into.

When this move of God began, a gentleman at our church who has been really into Todd Bentley for years told us about it excitedly. He told us all about how you could watched it on the Internet and such. I watched it and didn't really feel or see much to be honest. I actually had a really bad headache and gave the ole "touch the screen" thing a whirl.

Headache = Worse

I kept on going to back to watch more of it because if it was a genuine move of God... I'll never say no to that! I want it ALL baby! What began to strike me was the scale of what was going on. In a short few weeks, the world knew about this. People were flying in... and began to live out the revival's slogan, "Come get some." More healing stories were coming from around the US and the World than were coming from the Lakeland Arena or Ignited Church.

THIS is what much of the point of what's going on is about. Todd does talk a great deal about this. It's about ME and YOU and EVERYONE receiving the gift of healing and going out praying for others... moreso than it's about Todd. There are healings that happen in Lakeland. Not everyone... but at a much higher rate than normal. What is remarkable though is the HUNGER for God in that arena! With that many people believing... good things are bound to happen. It's a whole lotta unity.

My friend Bobby Sullivan is one of Todd's associates. I've known Bobby for a decade or so in various capacities. We've brought Bobby in for numerous outreach events and I've even travelled to The Philippines with him to do ministry with him in Manila. Bobby's an interesting and unorthodox nut too (I say nut in a good endearing way)! For years, he has gone into cities with giant truck pimped out with kickin' sound gear and partnered with local churches to put on "Fam Jam's". We'd give away food, bikes, boom boxes, and more... then share about Jesus. He's the most effective North American evangelist that I know.

During a meeting in Lakeland... God spoke to Todd about Bobby. That night, Todd "commissioned" Bobby to bring the revival to Ireland and Scotland. Over the last couple of month's I get a daily email from Bob (Cutting Edge Outreach Ministries) about the scope of what's happening across the pond in countries where evangelical Christianity is scarce. Healing after healing after healing. Again... not all... BUT MORE. More enough that the Irish and Scottish media (along with the BBC) heard and began to run stories and do interviews.

Bobby is just a guy who grew up in a hood. Street fighting... without a dad. I once stood with Bob in the Hong Kong airport looking out at the planes after two weeks ministering in Manila. He looked a long way off. He half said to me (the other half to himself), "Man... who am I that I get to see these things?" This is what this revival's main focus is.

YOU... ME... EVERYONE.
It's not "come get healed by Todd".
Missing this would be missing the point.


Even those outside of Todd's circles are noticing something new rising up in these days. Pete Greig wrote a wonderful piece about "Lakeland, Florida, Barrack Obama, and Burma: A call to respond to the signs of the time"

Is it coincidence that, slap-bang in the middle of such political, economic and environmental turmoil, we are also witnessing a fresh hunger for God’s presence in thousands of churches? Are the events in Lakeland, Florida disconnected from this season of global transition and turmoil? Surely it must mean something that such a time of travail hosted the world’s biggest prayer meeting as millions of Christians across 211 nations cried out to God together for the earth to be filled with the knowledge of His glory’ (Hab. 2:13)?
I'll just say one more thing. Then I'd really like to hear what you think.

One of the people I know who has driven to Lakeland is the mother of one of my best friends. Her name is Joy... and she's living up to that name. She fighting valiantly down a very painful cancer path. Her blog (here) is amazing.

They went to a number of meetings... prayed... worshiped... and like our friend from the article, also didn't go to the stage or get instantly healed. Here's what Joy wrote upon returning home...

Man is not the one in control of my life (in reference to Doctors), God is! I believe with all my heart that He has wonderful things yet to accomplish. He is not finished with me yet. I am not leaving here until I have fulfilled and experienced every plan and purpose He has for me.


At night... Scott and Joy watch the revival on the Internet. Sometimes Joy sleeps. Their daughter Andrea told me of what I found to be a extraordinarily poignant moment the other night. She said that she watched her Dad nudge her Mom and say, "Joy... they're praying for the terminal". Joy in a half sleep said... "that's not me."

Many are stepping out in faith in these days are things are happening. I know it because those who have gone to Florida have come back believing that the sick can be healed. Since then, I've prayed ALONG WITH JOY for her granddaughter to be healed from a strange re-occuring fever only to see it pass with no other explanation... aside from this...

Faith is the substance of things that aren't seen.

We are Christians. We believe in the unseen and unexplainable. We have to. Something deep inside us says we have to. It's our hope.


15 July 2008

Don't vote for a Democrat!!!

This billboard is raising a few eyebrows in Orange County Florida today.

It was put up by a guy named Mike Meehan, "on a mission to help the country". I'm sure John McCain is really truly thrilled that Mike is chipping in with his two cents.

You should hear Mike's song. CD's are only 5 bucks (quite a steal). Therepublicansong.com. Here are some highlights...

"The Democrat secular progressive move,
political correctness is killing us too.
They want to take the money from the hard workin man,
and give it to the lazy folks that don't give a damn.

Republicans, we're not perfect but we know the truth
We uphold the Constitution and the Golden Rule.
We believe a mans freedom is a God given right,
the USA is the beacon to the whole world in sight."

"what you're doing is the opposite of help."
Shrek


I'm SURE that The Republican Party will be able to save the nation. Oh for sure they will. The twin towers disaster would have never happened with a good 'Merican Republican in office. They'll do a much better job at making the nation a utopia... I mean this happened just today!



See... for God's sake DON'T VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT!!!!

I don't really care who you vote for. You can make a case for either and both arguments are flawed. Neither choice will ever be "the hope of glory". Laws don't save nations. Jesus came... tore the curtain in two... and fulfilled the law with love, forgiveness, grace and mercy. We're called to release a Kingdom quite unlike the ones that we see around us.

Here's Derek Webb's new video, "A savior on capital hill"



14 July 2008

a loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires and babies

Today I had a vision of a symphony so pure that the vibrations healed the body; cleansed the mind.
Today I shared a hot dog with junkie.
Today I did a million dollar deal with a million dollar dealer.
Today I hugged a man with a corn cob pipe.
Today I heard the prophet speak of danger rising in the east.
Today I bandaged the parallel lines across teenage arms.
Today I stood up... spoke out; was heard by the hearers.
Today I napped with the dead and reminded Moses about them "Good Egyptian Eats".
Today I swam in a blue ocean.
Today I sat in box. Sweating.
Today I won and I lost but I won; you see?
I won.

"They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday.
They wouldn't even notice"
Pete Greig


Tagging the Church

Tagging: "the most basic writing of an artist's name in either spray paint or marker. A graffiti writer's tag is his or her personalized signature"

Over the weekend, someone with the street name Jose of the "NY Bloods" tagged our church. The NY Bloods thing is hysterical as I'm sure Jose would be a blubbering little mess in the corner should he actually encounter a real "blood". But none the less... we found ourselves the proud owners of his name and tag symbols on our big blue house.

So Sunday morning... Brian did something awesome. He brought up this scripture...

Isaiah 29: 16
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.


... and reminded the church about the scale that we function on. Jose may have written his name on our building. But that building is God's building... and God's got us engraved on palms of his hands.

So we tagged back. Brian decided that Jose needed to know that Jesus loves him... and a few more things. So we all took a "field trip" and prayed for the street... on the street.



Have I mentioned that I love my church?





13 July 2008

Oh you can't get to heaven...

Oh you can't get to heaven
On a rocking chair
Cause a rocking chair won't take you there
I ain't gonna grieve my Lord no more
By Sunday School Jones III


Do you ever wonder just how this verse plays itself out?

Acts 2:21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

I do. In fact it crossed my mind about 2am Saturday morning talking to a man named Daryle. Daryle is a trucker who believes in "our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ", keeps a Bible in the truck at all times. He gets... and accepts the whole story.

On the minus side... Daryle also GETS a lot of hookers.

"I'm a whore monger with the best of them. I'll pretty much climb on anything that moves if you know what I mean. I was out here looking for skin and when we're done praying... that's where I'm headed again."
Daryle (stay classy) the Trucker


He quite unapologetic about it all...yet knows and accepts that Jesus forgives him of "the sins of the flesh" because "human flesh is weak".

Acts 15: 10-11 "Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."


Check... Daryle's got it

Acts 16: 29-31 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household."


Check... Daryle's got it

Romans 10: 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Check... Daryle's got it

VD

Check... Daryle's got it

So... hmmm... I think Daryle's in? How does that sit with you?

12 July 2008

My field trip to the crack house

What a night on the street. There are few things as amazing as watching someone letting Jesus into their heart. It's as much a miracle as growing a new leg.

Roughly one year ago... I was pacing up and down Market Street outside of Freedom House looking at a strip of crack houses and brothels. I began to get mad. Good righteous God mad. These things had no business being in our neighborhood. God's hood. So, standing beside my friend Sam, I said "I really want to find a way to get into that crack house". No sooner had I said it, a man came stumbling out and headed across the street to our BBQ.

I jumped at the open door and suggested that I bring the whole house a tray of hamburgers. He accepted and 10 minutes later we were passing out burgers to a group of junkies laid out on beds and couches in the dirtiest place I've ever seen. It was great.

The man who came out of the house's name is Lee. He came back to our street party off and on throughout last, and this year. In our prayer room, we'd often pray that God show himself to the people in our neighborhood. Before heading out on the street each week, we spend a couple of hours praying. We get the mind of the Lord and declare it prophetically... then let the Holy Ghost do His thing.

Tonight... Lee had an "appointment" with Jesus. My buddy "Big Daddy Straz" suggested we make a crack house burger run. EXCELLENT IDEA! A group of 6-7 of us wound up hanging out in the crack house for about 20 minutes, shooting the breeze with the neighbors. We talked about the 15 or so kittens that scurried around the house as most of the residents lay on a bed littered with crack pipes. Lee was there but followed us back across the street... for "some reason".

Lee and I would up in our 24/7 Prayer room. This room is covered in prophetic words... loving poems... declarations over Brantford... "whispered faithless prayers"... beautiful artwork...

Lee began to tell me that God wouldn't stop bugging him. He said that God was like his hat. He was always there. But Lee was mad that God wouldn't speak to him anymore. Lee asked me, "straight up... have you ever ENCOUNTERED God?" I assured him that I had. He was happy since it meant that his following story wouldn't be seen as crazy.

Lee told me that a number of years ago he was in BC working. For some reason, he felt compelled to stop by a stream and sit on a rock. There... God showed up. God would not physically let Lee off this rock. Lee told me that he KNEW God was holding him in place and was literally meeting with him. When he got up, he wrote of the experience on a piece of paper that he still keeps in his wallet today. Then he began to run away.

I told Lee about how God wants us to want him. I told him about how God provided Jonah, another runner, a whale. A whale that seemed bad... but really kept him safe and pointed him on to his destiny. My biker friend Ray came in and shared with Lee that Jesus stands at the doors and knocks... that Jesus needs us to open that door and let him in.

For Lee tonight... it all clicked. I prayed with Lee and Lee "felt happy" for the first time in years. His guilt from running away was lifted from him. He teared up and hugged us. I actually gave Lee my Bible. It was a Bible that my former church's Mens ministry gave to me before I headed off to Africa. I told Lee that I received this Bible as I was about to start a scary, unknown... but AMAZING journey; and that he was about to do the same. Lee didn't know what to say.

Lee wandered around our street barbecue the rest of the night in somewhat of a state of shock that a simple prayer of surrender could do THAT much. That it took away years of fighting and guilt. I had weak knees after to be honest at what a powerful moment I had just been privileged to witness. A man having a literal REbirth before my very eyes.

The "will of God" is a wild thing. Last summer I KNEW that God wanted those folks in that house. And tonight... with the legit prompting and drawing that the Holy Spirit does so well... God did a miracle.

Salvation is beautiful.

I stand in awe of my Holy God this morning.

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