22 May 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well I’m back on the ground in Newberg and I’m very glad to be back home with my family.
I’m totally smoked though from late nights a lot of energy and little sleep. So I’ll probably go dark here for a few days as I try to catch up on sleep.

21 May 2008

Quick note

Just a really quick note before I forgot it.
There is a rather popular atheist book out right now and a website all with the argument that says “Why won’t God heal amputees” an it goes on to lay a case that since God doesn’t heal amputees he can’t be all powerful and ergo...can’t be God.

Many Christians have taken the bait there by immediately accepting the premise...but the premise is false.

While this is news to me, it seems this is not new data, about a number of cases in the last year or two of amputees being restored including fingers, an entire hand, and at least one leg below the knee. I don’t know if there are more cases, but Bill Johnson dropped those cases in this morning’s message as if it were no particular big deal.

Some pre-departure unpacking

So we have the afternoon free and unlike yesterday and Monday, I don’t feel sorely lacking in sleep. So I thought it would be a good time to start unpacking a few things, or at least recording a few things that I will try to unpack in time.

Psalm 34 says “Come and taste that the Lord is good...”
“Nicodemus...said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.’
“ Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
And again
“...my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

How do I proceed?
This morning I stood next to a woman named Brenda. When it was asked that anyone with terminal cancer lifted their hand, Brenda did so. She had (according to her and a woman I think was her sister) a cranky old tumor on her thyroid.
We prayed, the tumor disappeared.
Full stop.

About four chairs to my right, a man had a tumor literally drop right off of his face. Now I didn’t actually see that happen but I did see the place on his face where the tumor had been. There was a bright pink patch of brand new skin about he size of a nickel which stood out like a light bulb on his aged face. I’m not aware of any blind people seeing but I did see the deaf regain hearing and the lame walk.

Last night I was in a room with maybe as many as 2000 people (that’s what the security lady said...frankly, I’d be surprised if it was really that many but frankly I suck at gauging numbers in a room like this and I know I routinely under-guess). Anyway,  folks were asked to raise their hands if they needed healing of just about anything, but also some specific things were named as having a kind of special treatment that day, colitis and crones disease, ankle injuries (?) bi-polar disorder and dementia to name a few. Folks without a hand up were asked to hook up with someone who did. I wound up with a man with a neck injury who had regular migraines and limited mobility in his shoulders and arms. All at once, we all prayed for no more than five minutes, but hoots and shouts of freedom erupted before we’d even started. The man I was praying with shook like he was naked on the ice or something and slowly his arms came up...up...up over his head, something he had been unable to do a minute before. Greatly encouraged I looked around for somebody else to pray for and found another man to my right with some other kind of back/neck problem but it was really too loud to hear anything he told me of the details. But again, only a few minutes of prayer later and he was doing toe-touch exercises with a huge grin on his face.

When the speaker asked everyone who had received a healing to wave their hands I’d guess a minimum of 30% of the 2000(?) person audience was waving and yelling. So conservatively, I’d say I was in a room where a minimum of 250 people were healed miraculously of something.

As the evening progressed I watched many other folks get healed, fall under the power of the spirit and what I have to assume was a genuine demonic deliverance. (A.A. Allen’s granddaughter was here and was handing out power prayers like a drunken sailor (which may seem like an odd metaphor...but trust me, it’s apropos).

“Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another? And Jesus answered them, Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

20 May 2008

Quick Notes

Just a few quick notes form the conference so far:
  1. Wound up eating with folks from the security and front desk staff here and according to them, the fact that I got a room here at all was clearly a miracle. Which is is a little odd – the folks who work here were more impressed by that than I was. For me it was like, well of course He’ll get me a room – this is a hotel isn’t it? Perhaps it was better that I didn’t know the odds stacked against me.
  2. God continues to tell me to wait for Him to move as opposed to reaching out for things myself. That seems to include the meetings that He has set up or me here. So while I don’t have anything specific on that front, it seems clear that He’s up to something. I’ve been mindful of Saul’s impatience in sacrificing to the Lord and how not waiting for Samuel meant the difference between his kingdom being an eternal one and the ignoble end he wound up filling...
  3. A few quotes that are well worth recording:
    • ‘insecurity’ is what we call our fear when we want to keep it around like a pet
    • The problem with a self-made man is that he winds up worshiping his creator.
    • when we step through the veil of inconvenience is when we step into the kingdom of God
    • You work with what God is doing, not  creating a stumbling block out of what He isn’t doing yet

Still a LOT to write about, but no time quite yet.
To Slater – now that I’m here and I’ve seen it all with my own eyes – I’m confident that what is happening here is from God and not from the enemy. All the men here (Rick Joyner et al) are clearly men, meaning imperfect, but also submitted to Jesus. And if He’s willing to forgive their errors then I reckon I need to do the same. Likewise, I’m convicted that I need to very careful about hearing something that is frankly over my head and calling that error when in fact I’m too young in the faith to grasp it yet. But that's just me Chris. If you have questions, I’d really encourage you to come see for yourself...and like soon.

19 May 2008

Could Use Prayer...

So in case it either A: wasn’t clear or B: I haven’t had a moment to tell you, The Lord opened a door for me to attend this healing conference in NC at the last minute and now I am here at Heritage and waiting to see what happens next.

Which may be where you come in. :)

There are no available rooms. Between a conference holding about 1000 people and a bunch of other folks hanging around for what the Spirit has been doing, the place is overbooked.

Now to be totally honest, I’m about as worried as a snow cone in Nome (of melting). Really, the story to date has convinced me beyond reasonable doubt that God is behind this whole thing so I feel pretty confident that He wont leave me sleeping in the hallway...but frankly, even if He does, that’s cool too. It’s a nice place and the halls are carpeted. :)

Still, faith or no faith, it always seems like a good idea to solicit as much prayer as possible.

So far, not much to tell beyond that. The grounds are...interesting...but pretty neat. I really only arrived about two hours ago and wound up sitting in on the morning session which was underway...good stuff.

But I’ll report in as time and opportunity permit.

News Flash:

I got a room – a really nice one with a big bed and a balcony!

Not News, but worth saying:

Jesus rocks!

Thanks for all your prayer, I’m fired up to have such a great group of friends.

18 May 2008

Something I read.

This is from a book I’m reading called God’s Generals:

We are not called to give up. We are called to obey God at whatever cost and to let success answer our critics. If it seems you have hit a hard place in your life or ministry, don’t whine and complain. Don’t offer your reasons for it. Pray! Explanations and excuses rob us of strength and power.

The adventure continues...

So this will no doubt warrant significant explanation, but I’m quite suddenly on the way to NC...
I’ll be in touch as time permits.

15 May 2008

w00t! w00t!

2 minute after $800 showed up..another $200 got handed to me.
Bring it on home Jesus!


Praise Jesus!
A friend just told me God told him to drop 8 bills in this ‘Get Chris to NC’ project!

14 May 2008


I want to drop off a few thoughts that I’ve heard on the wire and that ring for me.

  1. The main flavor of this move of God is to express God’s glory – again, His Glory. And I don’t mean that in the way like we say “Oh, it’s all for His Glory”, I mean the purpose and nature of this move will be for US to experience His Glory.
  2. Where some moves of God require us to contend for them (‘The Kingdom of heaven is taken by force...’), this one will come to us ‘Like a child’ and form rest.

Again, these aren’t my thoughts, but stuff I’ve heard recently that rang for me, and I wanted to share them.

13 May 2008

More about that depression thang

Something has come up enough times that I think it’s worth putting out here.
I submit this only as a hunch or a scent – I’d be interested to know if this rings with anybody.

For several reasons I suspect this depression + isolation attack may be based in witchcraft. Not like the depressed people are dabbling in witchcraft, but maybe a large scale (coordinated?) curse/spell.

Look, I know how that sounds. I’m just putting it out there to see who salutes.

FW: BCNW follow-up

This is a letter exchange between Rick Randall, who you’ve mentioned, and a guy who I haven’t asked permission to use his name...

------ Forwarded Message
From: Rick Randall

[Random Person],

Thanks so much for sharing.
You may not be aware of this but I just spent the weekend at MorningStar Ministries in Fort Mill, SC.  It was very much a last minute thing to go but I can really see how God is moving.
Check out Chris' blog for more:  http://the-m-blog.blogspot.com/
The message there has been a dream given to someone, possibly Rick Joyner I don't really remember [CS: Yes it was Joyner].  Anyway the point isn't so much who as what. The dream was God saying, honor your fathers and I'll bring revival to the U.S. within six months.  This was near the end of 2007 or beginning of 2008.  I believe we are seeing these large events for men and fertile fields because of this call from God to honor our fathers and our spiritual fathers. It doesn't matter if they are good, bad or indifferent. It doesn't matter the wounds they have caused us. God has commanded us to honor them because they are our fathers and by doing so he promised us long life, it's the only commandment with a promise so it must be a big deal to God. Just look at how our country thinks about fathers for a comparison...

I believe that taking action is the revival call here. Our western mindset just loves to sit and wait for God to move instead of being decisive and following the design that God made us to be as men.  What if the reason we are always waiting for God to move is because no one will move until God is forced into doing it himself?  Wouldn't it be better to follow who we are and join God out on the front lines?  Even if we are the guy in the fourth row back with a hoe, at least that guy is showing up for the fight.

This weekend really showed me how easy it is to let caution turn into skeptism and then follow along into doubt. That's where the religious zealots of Jesus day liked to live and they were rarely allowed to witness Jesus miracles because of it. I for one want to stand on the front line where God is active and throw myself into a place where he HAS to protect me rather than sit idle and allow caution to kill my heart. This weekend I knew if I ended up experienceing something that was not of God that He would protect me.  I also knew that my brothers here would have my back.  I believe that revival is coming to the Northwest.  God has told me so personally several years ago, before I met any of you other than Tony and Andy of course.  God also told me that I would be a part of that revival.  I also had a dream at our bootcamp a few weeks ago of harvesting the Northwest.  This all happened before I heard anything about MorningStar or what God was talking to Chris about going to Charlotte.  I believe something huge is going to start this fall.  We have an opportunity to get ready and be in the midst of it or on the sidelines being cautious.  I guess I'm a little fired up!  [Random Person] your email has really unlocked something for me here.
--- On Tue, 5/13/08, [Random Person] wrote:

This is interesting information that Chris and Ken share below.  

Let me add an update that I believe is reflective of these comments by sharing with you my experience at the Iron Sharpens Iron (ISI) event held May 3 at my home town here in Richland WA.  The event was part a nationally promoted men's one day gathering with national speakers and 15 breakout sessions.  Our opening speaker was UofW and Raiders running back Napoleon Kaufman and the closing speaker was Rick Kingman.  In between the to keynotes were a morning and afternoon which you could chose which breakout session to go to.  There were just to many to describe, but they were designed for everyone 13 and older and there were many teenagers in attendance with there fathers.  How cool is that!  Topics covered finance, marriage, parenting, addictions, porn and so much more.

There was an over all theme of healing wounds getting into the game, hearing God's call and taking action.  Be part of a bigger picture.  Do these things sound familiar?

There were over 700 men in attendance and I know that peoples lives were change that day as I know some personally.  It was a great event and a stepping stone to bigger things.  One struggle that is prevalent with ISI as well as BCNW is getting the word out in places that need to hear about it.  Networks are being formed, people are getting to know each other, churches are coming together, the need is great and the workers are gathering. There is something happening here.

I ran a booth for BCNW and had interested people sign up for Band of Brothers small groups and for follow up for the fall camp.  I sold about 2 dozen W@H paperbacks for $5 and about that many signed up with interest for our camps.  I did not have time to talk to everyone that stopped by.  Some had heard of W@H, some had gone through BoB, but to my surprise a majority were totally unfamiliar.  What a fertile field to cultivate!

There is a fall event and as I type this I do not have the date and exact location at my finger tips but it is south of Seattle and I believe if the timing works out with or maybe even with out the fall event following the the fall ISI conference it would be beneficial to have a presence there.  I am certain well over a 1000 guys will be at this event.

There are also opportunities to be discussed among ourselves, about how we could leverage BCNW through being a sponsor at this event to get our message and boot camp opportunities out to more men at a nominal cost.  Many organizations seem to be looking for the type of opportunity we offer to direct men to.

May God's Blessing in what discussion and decisions are about being a part of something bigger that will touch the lives of more men.

If this leaves more questions than answers, please give me your comments of feel free to call me.

In His Service

[Random Person]

Some connections from the dark side...

(Kristin, I’m posting this letter to me blog at the same time, so if I get the details wrong, please correct them.)

Obviously one of the main themes I’ve been harping on here has been the theme of noting and understanding the connections that are happening. Most of those have been positive in nature but with the axiom that every move of good meets demonic opposition, I did want to relate one point of reference from the dark side. There may be others that I’d really love to record here. Remember: a tactic known is a tactic lost. Or in Bible speak: We are not ignorant of the schemes of the enemy...

Keep in mind here, the timing and scope are the things to notice.

As we were building up to Boot Camp (April 24-27) we had more spiritual warfare then maybe we’ve had ever before. Typically that warfare is primarily attacks form the outside (logistics, suddenly failing technology, financial issues) but this time, it was primarily form the inside (interpersonal issues) and took the form of a wide spread depression in the members. There were specific phrases that we were all hearing: ‘you’re done’, ‘you’re a failure’, ‘this [bootcamp] isn’t working’ and also that this would be our last camp because ‘[you’re] exhausted. This isn’t worth the work’ We battled through all of that, but frankly it was more raw stubbornness than raise my hands victory. I know several guys showed up at camp more out of a sense of being true to their word and not because they really believed it was ‘working.’

What’s cool is that it turned out to be one of most powerful events events, maybe the most powerful, and a lot of that was fueled by he rawness we were all dealing with. And that’s neat and all, blah blah blah.

But what I want to get to is what we learned a few days later. Ransomed Heart (John Eldredge and his team) were also putting on an Advanced Camp the week after ours. Shortly before they started, and just after we wrapped up, we got a prayer request from them (so did a lot of people, we’re not at all special in that regard) where they described the warfare they had been going though in the build up to the camp. Here is an excerpt from that letter:

Wow. I’ve got a story to tell. So yesterday, we were having our mission briefing for the upcoming Advanced that starts tomorrow. 450 men coming for a life-changing encounter with God, and coming to be equipped to rescue others. Part of our briefing is given to asking God some questions about how to pray, what to be head’s up about. It was just an okay time of prayer. I wasn’t hearing clearly. Finally I asked the guys, “Is anybody else having a hard time hearing?” Just about everybody said, “Yeah, I can’t hear right now.” I was aware, as we prayed, that something was in the way, something that felt big, and defiant.

So this morning, Gary, Craig, Bart and I are meeting to talk through the new talks, new flow of the retreat. We stop to ask Christ about a particular session. Again, something is in the way. We all feel it. We begin to ask God about it, and bit by bit we begin to get some clarity, one piece at a time. We were asking God, “What is this, Lord? What is set against us?” No answer. But what began to be revealed were some deep agreements we’d made either personally or as a ministry. Agreements with different enemies like resignation, and discouragement. As we prayed, we renounced the sin, the agreement, and brought the blood of Christ over that issue, then the next. On and on it went. The enemy was faltering; we could feel the block giving way. We asked for more, and God led us a piece at a time.

The big issue is what is set against Ransomed Heart, not just this mission. The sentence “It’s over” and “I'm done” has been too close to many of us, both here at the Outpost and in our families, on all sorts of different issues. Like an overwhelming assault, looking for different circumstances to come in, looking for different opportunities to get the agreement, from anyone in any way. But the theme is the same. The theme is, it’s over. I’m done. A spirit of Overwhelming Defeat. Using things like fragmentation, isolation, indifference, offense, discouragement, resignation to get in...

Here is what we sense Jesus telling us to pray:...against Fear, and Unbelief, Sickness...The phrase “wet tinder” came to us...Bind those things with us. Hebrews 12:1-3 seemed for us this time. And God said, “Stay focused on joy. Beware dropping your guard. Watch for My lead. I love this. I’ll show up.”

Yes, he will. He already has.

It was cool enough to get a solid confirmation that we were not alone in what we were going through and it put a clean capstone on the battle that went a long way to erasing the wounds to each other that came from that fight. But since then, I’ve also been learning a LOT of people, particularly those in ministry, found themselves going through the same ‘fiery trial’  at the exact same time. Not the least of which was a report I heard from the other side of the country in TN of two or three gals who not only got hit with the same depression, but also started to notice the connection in timing and ‘flavor’ between themselves.

OK look, depression is a long way from being rare, so while I generally don not believe in coincidence, I’d be willing to bend in this case...if the words spoken to these people weren’t so eerily similar and the timing wasn’t so specific and immediately proceeding what is now being seen as one of the biggest Holy Spirit moments in the last 20 years. (In case you’ve been asleep, this is NOT limited to NC and Florida – it’s gone nationwide.)

So the question comes to my mind: is the enemy now waging these attacks on wider fronts or has it always been like that and we are only now starting to network in such a way that makes the widespread nature of his attacks evident to the church? I don’t have an answer, I’m just thinking.

12 May 2008

Question from Rick

Chris,  This question came to me this morning.  What is the story of how MorningStar came onto your radar?  The real question behind that is this, is God calling you here or to something completely different in Charlotte?  Yes we are in the suburbs of Charlotte but it's actually Fort Mill just across the state line and actually in South Carolina instead of North.  I don't want to introduce any kind of doubt but it seems like a valid question to consider.  I guess the original PTL site is somewhere in NC and then they moved here once they outgrew the first site.  I read that on the link I sent you last night.  I'm not entirely sure where Morningstar was before they moved here in about 2004.

------ Reply

Hey Rick. Good question.

How MorningStar popped up on radar is a long story, but I guess the most recent chapter goes something like this. In August last year I was at a friends house and had a lazy afternoon. I grabbed a book off the shelf by Joyner called the Sword and The Torch which was a sequal to a book I’d read 10 years earlier, The Final Quest. I was strongly hit by several elements in those books (I went back and read the first and second books again) that seemed to speak deeply to what was going on in my walk, and what was happening in BCNW. It was shortly after that when I got the nudge to attend that first W&W conference that I mentioned before.

As for Charlotte vs. Fort Mill, I’ve wondered the same thing. On the one hand the signals have been almost exclusively been ‘Charlotte’ and yet I also get strong signals to Morningstar. For me the pudding here is that I heard God tell me to attend these conferences (admittedly that included a degree of interpretation) and that’s where these ‘breakouts’ have occurred as well as several other confirming details. So while the lines don’t mesh perfectly the evidence seems to be solid that I’m on track.

I might also be over thinking this one. After all, Fort Mill is the Charlotte what Vancouver is to Portland. Yes they are distinct in several ways, but they generally seen as a single, connected entity with a single ‘culture’ in which Portland is sort of the dominant partner. Still, I wonder if there isn’t both a small picture and a big picture. Like maybe Morningstar is simply one part of something larger in the Charlotte area which is part of something even larger still...

More from Rick

Rick has headed home now from NC and I know he still has a lot to share.
But here is a better link to his blog:

A recent email

This is an email I recently received and my response.
I should say as I post this, that while I get pretty fired up by the end of my response, I really do appreciate the sentiment my friend expressed. And since I don’t have his permission to post this, I’ll expunge any identifying notes. Still – if you (the author) don’t mind identifying yourself – this is perhaps a great place to have a very germane discussion on this topic.


On 5/12/08 10:09 AM, somebody wrote:

Hey Man,

I spent a bunch of time yesterday getting caught up on your blog, reading your friend Rick's blog, and then reading what I could find about Morningstar ministries and the Lakeland revival.  Then I spent the rest of the day agonizing over whether to write this e-mail or not.

A bit of disclosure.

I believe in healing and in all sorts of gifts (that is to say - I am not a cessationist), but I am very skeptical of big revival events like this.  God can move however He pleases, of course - and it is possible that this whole thing is of God, but I am skeptical.

I don't want to try to talk you out of anything and I really really don't want to discourage you if God is in fact leading in all of this.  All I want to say is "Be careful".

I've read (and heard from Mike) about how God is using you and the ministry up there to work in men's lives.  It's good stuff, and clearly of God.  It is possible that God wants you to go to this event to learn more.  Its also possible that the enemy wants to use this as a distraction and even a source of discouragement to pull you away from that work.

I should tell you a couple of the things that caused me to pause as I examined Morningstar.

-The first was that reading some stuff on the Lakeland (or was it the Morningstar?) site and seeing them refer - in a positive way – to Benny Hinn.  Yikes.

-The second was reading an article on the Lakeland site where he was talking about how the Holy Spirit wants us to know Him and pray to Him by name.  That to me goes against everything I've ever seen in scripture.  No one ever talks directly to the Spirit.  In his book "Keep in Step with the Spirit", JI Packer makes the case that the role of the spirit is to illuminate and put glory on the Son.

-The third was this page on the apologetics index:

I don't know that much about the folks that run this web site.  It's just another data point.

All I'm saying - and I say this knowing that I could be very, very wrong in all of this - is be careful.  Be sure that beyond external signs, you have God's word and sound doctrine leading you in all of this.

Looking forward to hearing what God does in all of this, and praying that God continues to bless your ministry.


------ Reply

Hey man,

Thanks very much for your letter and at every point I agree.

I don’t know how well it comes through on my blog (maybe not very well at all) but I too approach this whole thing with a great deal of caution and skepticism. I think what happens on the blog is that I hold my tongue on something until I’m convinced, and then I post. But by that time of course, I’m moved though my doubts and then you only get to see the enthusiasm. You see only the product, not the process so to speak.

Without question, there are lots of reasons, both scriptural and logical, to proceed with caution. That said, I’m also acutely aware that it was doubt and skepticism that prevented Jesus from healing people in his home town. (Mat 13:54-58) Fear and suspicion that often made Jesus unwelcome directly after performing miracles (ex: Luke 8:35-37). [Added: For that matter, can’t we say that doubt and skepticism played a major role in Christ wholesale rejection by the religious authorities who should have recognized him]

I really do appreciate your words, and I’m not trying to change your mind on this matter or any other, but for myself I see that I have spent far too much of my Christian life, a life that is by its own definition supernatural, defending against and doubting the supernatural. For me I realize that I’ve given the Devil more attention in his ability to deceive than to Jesus and his ability to protect me. The result of that has been a faith that calls suspicion ‘discernment,’ stinginess ‘stewardship’, and inaction ‘God’s timing.’

It’s a documented aspect of our generation, this profound unwillingness to commit, to act. We are always keeping our options open and weighing the possibilities. I, for one, long for more Peter in me and less Thomas.

Teddy Roosevelt said: It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

I have spent far too many years as the critic. It’s the season (and I’m convinced this too is from God) to dare greatly. Any good thing I’ve been able to do in Boot Camp NW only exists because I moved past caution and listen first and foremost to God’s voice. Getting over the innumerable (or so they seemed) reasons why I obviously couldn’t participate. In this, all I know is that God is calling me and he’s confirmed that in many ways over and over. Whether Rick Joyner, Todd Bently or Benny Hinn are frauds or demons IS NOT RELEVANT. What’s relevant is God’s invitation, His call, and His will. If He leads me smack in the valley of the shadow of death that is where He is my strong shield, my rod, my staff. In fact, more and more I’ve come to believe that walking with God ALWAYS leads to that valley eventually. The table prepared for David in that 23rd Psalm is in the presence of his enemies...not in their absence.

So I guess I’m on the soap box now. :) Sorry about that. It’s just that, and please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m frustrated with charges of caution and excess from a world satisfied with the status quo. As a church, we’ve become so hypersensitive to ‘angel of light’ that we’ve stopped accepting and watching for the author of light.

Wise or foolish, measured of reckless, I have to obey.

10 May 2008

A piece of the puzzle?

We may just have gotten a piece of the puzzle for our still unclear path to NC.

Re was at a baby shower today and one of the girls there (who doesn’t know anything about this story, and I don’t think is even a Christian) ‘mentioned’ that she had two free tickets on Alaska/Horizon that were open ended and she was giving them away. It seems it’s some kind of perk her husband gets at work but they can’t use the tickets.

That said, Alaska/Horizon doesn’t go to Charlotte. Looks like they go about as far as Chicago but no farther. So it’s a step in the right direction, but not a done deal.

In the spirit of seeing this through the ‘signs’  lenses, this smacks A LOT of the Chris-Goes-To-Boston story from two years ago, which in many ways has been a  loose template or this experience. Specifically, on the day before I had to leave for Boston a guy handed me exactly this kind of ticket but on Southwest and said, ‘have a good trip.’ But as it happened, I couldn’t use that ticket because there were no seats available. It was then that God said, ‘Chris – go to Borders’ where I met another guy who gave me another ticket...and the rest is HisStory.

So...is this following a similar pattern? Is this a sort of head fake that serves to add drama to an already dramatic set-up?
We’ll see...

Update from Rick

I just got this text message from Rick Randall who is at Morningstar RIGHT NOW:
‘They are preaching [Isaiah] 61. Definite healings happening! My doubts and questions are gone. It started the day before our last camp.

Trying to stay current

So yesterday (Friday) clearly had a significant degree of Jesus on it, but I’m at a bit of a loss to put it into the current context. Maybe somebody else will find a connection that I’m missing.

For the record, I did get another Charlotte yesterday. As I walked into the convention center that I’ll talk about in a moment, I glanced at a TV that was playing in the lobby. The banner at the bottom read: Special Bulletin: Charlotte, NC. It was up there for maybe half a second and in the moment it took me to do a double-take they had moved on to something else. So for the 0.75 seconds that I, the guy who’s been pounded by this ‘coincidence’ for weeks now, took to cross the threshold of this hotel, God shows up with just another small signpost. Go figure. :)

Signs...that threatens to pull off onto a wide and potent tangent...suffice it to say that the topic of signs is a separate (?) thread that God has been pulling at lately. How we perceive them and what their nature is. Perhaps I’ll go there later, but or now I’ll drop this in, a quote form The Silver Chair:
“Remember, remember, remember the Signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the Signs . . . Take great care [the Narnian air] does not confuse your mind. And the Signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. This is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the Signs and believe the Signs. Nothing else matters.”

...Now onward.
Several months ago a friend who publishes a paper called Christian News Northwest asked if I would be a workshop speaker at some kind of conference thingy for a group I’d never heard of, the Evangelical Press Association. I agreed, frankly without praying or even really thinking about it, and almost instantly regretted it. It’s not that I objected to the cause or anything it just felt like at least one too many things on my plate and I was at least mildly irritated at myself for committing myself so recklessly. And as the weeks and months ticked by I was only more irritated. And what’s worse is that I found it near impossible to generate any interest at all in the event. I probably replied to a third of any correspondence that came my way for things like speaker bios or even a title for what I was going to talk about. What was also happening, which seems somewhat diabolical now in hindsight, was a way of thinking about this event that significantly demeaned it. Thoughts like ‘...that penny-ante reporter thing’ and ‘...waste of my time’ and ‘...I should just go [to N.C.] and let them figure it out.’ were all over my mind. So it comes up to Thursday evening and I haven’t been able to really commit more than 5 minutes at a go to even look at the schedule. Honestly, up until 8:00 the night before I didn’t even know when I was supposed to speak or where the event was, even though that had been on my calendar for six months.

As that evening grew older I was thinking more and more about the lesson in all of this and I thought about how I had committed myself to this without giving God even a passing glance and how it made a certain sense that God wouldn’t assent to my breaking my word even for this cool thing in Charlotte. Now that may in fact be a valid and important lesson to learn, but I no longer think that it was really the main thing going on here.

I went to bed that night, with still exactly zero plan for the next day beyond getting up a little early so I could go get breakfast and squeeze an outline out of forty-five minutes and a cup of coffee at J’s. But that said, I was in a significantly more peaceful state of mind when I turned back the sheets and talking to God about what might be going on here.

I slept pretty poorly that night – BUT – that’s not to say the night sucked. In fact, as I first drifted off I asked God, “Please help me here. I know I should be prepared and I don’t want to let these people down, but I can’t muster any interest at all. What should I talk about tomorrow?” And boy did he answer. I spent most of the night in this half-asleep / vivid dream state where I had the next day’s speech basically drilled into my head, then rehearsed several times. Not in a word-for-word kind of pattern, more like several key phrases, and a lot of topical exploration. What’s more is that it was right along the same lines as I’ve been talking about here and in other places – specifically the critical importance of story. The crux of the speech was really how the division between fact and story rides the division between the language of the mind and the language of the heart. It’s our stories, and especially the ways in which our stories intertwine with God’s larger story, that communicates meaning. Without story, we forgo meaning for dry and lifeless information...a particularly germane topic for a bunch of news hounds don’t you think?

Anyway, I show up and...um...wow. This is not what I had in mind (to say nothing or the Charlotte on the TV). This is several hundred people from all around the country, this is huge banquet rooms and suits and ties and the guy who is speaking before me...oh, nobody important... just the president of George Fox University. Honestly, it’s a good thing I don’t really get stage fright or I’d have bolted. Dream or not, I instantly felt WAY in over my head. But there was a worship service going on when I arrived and what was the piano player talking about between songs? Story. What did Mr. Baker talk about (among other things)? Story. So anyway, I’m sitting there feeling really good like I got the good scent in this dream and I’m really encouraged to see it through.

And the speech goes really well. Several people took the time to come up and remark on how it was the same thing that had been on their mind or how it spoke to something they were going through. Not like I changed the world or anything, but it was just another place where I was both unprepared, unequipped, and or the most part unwilling, but God took a simple little prayer and used it to minister to folks...not the least of which was me. What’s more, I wound up running into a gal, who ALSO dropped a line about the power of story to heal, who runs a ministry focused on women who have dealt with significant trauma. Right now, I really don’t know what that's about or where it would go, but I’m certain the meeting was planned by the Lion so I’m interested to see what fruit it bears.

So I reckon that’s the story of yesterday. I think without the Charlotte I’d just say it was an ordained chain of events, but mostly unrelated to everything that’s going on. But I’m not quite ready to close that book. There may yet be something here that ties in with the rest...time will tell.

And now for something completely different

Just a quick note on how easy it can be to screw this walking with God thing up.

I was a few key strokes away from reporting another ‘sign’ here that had to do with the space heater in Odin’s room. In short, I was suddenly struck yesterday by the name on the heater, ‘Lakeland.’ And how, in God’s inimitable way, Lakeland is the city in Florida where the HS breakout that I’ve been talking about in NC actually started. Admittedly a minor sign, but again interesting given all that’s been going on.


On second look as I wanted to double check my facts, the heater does NOT say Lakeland, but Lakewood.

What point am I trying to make here?
It is incredibly, INCREDIBLY,  easy to get caught up into what God is doing and find ourselves tempted to fudge the facts. Whether that is to force a ‘sign’ where there really isn’t one, to ‘claim’ a healing that really hasn’t happened, or to give a ‘courtesy fall’ because the folks around you are all being slain in the Spirit and you don’t want to be left out.

There is a very fine line here between healthy skepticism, where we are commanded to ‘test the spirits’ on the one side and the command not to ‘quench the spirit’ on he other hand...cynicism.

So I’d encourage folks to be wide open to God where he can sweep you up, but be extremely cautious not to ‘fake it ‘til you make it.’ Likewise, double-checking with God is always a good idea. Triple-checking is appropriate when the stakes are high, quadruple checking is likely to let the blessing pas on by without you...

From a recent email...

On 5/9/08 8:34 PM, Ken  wrote:

Yeah, something bigger I believe is around the corner, and what you are saying definitely makes sense.  Yes, you may share my story with the group.
The next part of the journey that God is calling me to, is another prayer journey on May 17.  I would hope to have the BCNW team members be in prayer over what God's plan is in this, and if possible during the morning of the 17th.  Since I've been home the story has taken a new turn and all the more God has been confirming in my heart that May 17th is the day to come before Him and pray for the release of the captives and to drive out the "midianites" (Judges 6) out of King County, and sound the alarm..  It involves a mt top hike near my home that over looks the county.  Early April I sensed that the time for me to go was May 17th.  Many of the events of the retreat prepared me, for the days that are leading up to the 17th, including our chat about the angels.   As I mentioned I wrestled for two years over when I was suppose to go on this journey, sometimes I thought I missed the opportunity to go.  Now I beleive!  that  God has given me the go ahead for this day, confirmed through prayer, many events, and circumstances that only God can orchestrate.  
The story is deeper and more detailed than I had time to share with you at the retreat.  It began with repentance, healing, my new name and I believe a mission
Appreciate your prayers and the others too.  If there are any questions please call.  Also this weekend their is a prayer event going on locally/globally.  More air war. You can forward this email to the others if you want, I'll leave it up to your discernment.   Jim Z. might be going with me I haven't heard back from him yet.
For His Kingdom,
P.S. May 17th is National Armed Forces Day.  No coincidence.

------ End of Forwarded Message

Dude -  I gotta tell you.
JB will back me up on this I’m pretty sure, but in the period between roughly a week before camp and now (so it’s ongoing) we’ve had more spiritual ‘chatter’ on the line then I’ve ever seen. Really – more than ever, and by a long shot, and by no means is that limited to BCNW. There is  huge stuff going on all over the country right now and in many different ministries.  And let me clear, it’s primarily positive chatter, not warfare stuff for the most part, but ‘Aslan is on the move’ stuff. Something huge is afoot as we speak we right now...but I’m a long way from understanding what it’s about.

I should tell you that I am convinced that a major part of what’s happening right now, and how far or how long it goes on, hinges on the willingness of folks to spread the word. It’s a little like Holy Spirit telephone. As you sat down to tell me about your part of the story, it suddenly made me aware of connections to my story that were hidden up to that point. I responded with additional stories which has come to where we are now.

This is the pattern I’m seeing a lot of right now. I’m sure it’s a big principle anyway, but particularly at this moment (maybe up to May 17th?) we must deliberately fight the impulse to internalize the ways that God is speaking to us – we must be very purposeful not to hide our light under a bushel. It’s these CONNECTIONS that are moving this chatter forward and upward.

So in the spirit of my own advice, here’s a link to my blog which will let you in on a story that has been developing in my life over the last week or two:

Probably go back to a post called ‘waiting’ and read forward from there to get the feel for what’s been happening.

Strength and honor my friend!

Now it's spreading...

I dropped a quick line in here a few days ago that a friend of mine from BCNW, Rick Randal, felt moved by the story here to go out to Charlotte himself and check out what was going on there.
Rick has a great sense of what a given situation is on the spiritual plane and so I’m very interested in his impressions.

Check out his blog here:

This also REALLY brings something to the front on my mind here. I’ve had a lot of folks either call or write to me with various reactions or impulses on this story – thanks! It helps a lot to know I’m not totally loosing it. :)

But people, if anything I’m saying here rings, let it be this: for some reason God wants this to be a story we tell together. It’s a community event. So don’t call me, post a comment here. Or...call me AND post a comment, that would be cool.  Sluss Jr, - don’t tell me you’re glued to the blog – log your own reactions to the story, here or on your own blog (but if you do that, let me know so I can link to it).

OK - ‘nother post coming but I wanted to get this one live.

08 May 2008

The Story, Part two

...Can I just say I wish there was a way to reorganize these posts to fall in opposite order. As it is, it’s like a viewer stumbles by and starts at the end of the current thread...if that’s you, go back to http://the-m-blog.blogspot.com/2008/04/waiting.html and read up from there.

OK – so in our last installment, our hero had his bag packed and was getting ready to drive to the airport and see what God did...

With that cliffhanger in the air, let me bring in another thread here that I hinted at earlier, but needs a bit more explanation. I’ve been involved with Boot Camp Northwest for about 3.5 years now. As that effort has moved along and I’ve been on this crazy ride with God, I’ve had this increasingly vexing thought. If part of the Wild at Heart message is that we men have ‘a beauty to rescue’ as one of our core motivators, what does that really look like. Setting aside the fact that the principle rings quite strongly for both Rebekah and I, I’m teaching sessions at an all men event in the ‘wilderness’ of Wild Horse Canyon. How can Rebekah be a part of that? And it’s not just Re. All of the guys have been increasingly aware of this inconsistency (dare I say hypocrisy?) but we have been totally at a loss to untangle the Gordian knot. Despite several long and heartfelt (and presumably spirit led) conversations on the matter, none of us have come up with anything that felt like an answer...just ongoing awareness of the problem. She can write her own thoughts on the matter if she wishes, but suffice it to say that as I was headed for the door on this new (again) adventure with God she was feeling left out.

I confess that at first I felt pretty miffed at that. I was thinking, “God is moving here and you’re letting petty jealousy get in the way of His divine purpose.”

OK, just in case the sarcastic tone got lost in the blog there, I want to be totally clear. That was a totally unfair way for me to see what was going on. The truth was that she was completely right.
I was leaving her out.
I had been leaving her out for a while.
And it was contrary to what God had in mind.

Now at the same time, I don’t want to be too self-flagellating here. It wasn’t as if I didn’t WANT Rebekah to be apart of what was going on, I just never saw how it was supposed to fit together. In fact, Re and I have had  several conversations on exactly the same line – how could she be a part of what was happening – and she didn’t see it either. So it’s not as if I was deliberately excluding her or even thoughtlessly neglecting her. This leads me to a conclusion that I find profound but too big and new to explore right now. Neither of us saw what was to come to next because the door wasn’t open yet. It wasn’t time yet for this to happen – it had to be opened by God first...

But I’m getting ahead of myself. That Wed. night it seemed wiser to stay home and be with my wife than to go off chasing the goose. But not two hours after that door was closed (by me) God was back in my face with another ‘Charlotte.’ So I took that to mean the trail hadn’t gone cold...

A few days later, just like I had done after the last conference I had missed, I went to the Morning Star website and intended to download the audio again. However, I was drawn to he article I mentioned earlier (http://www.morningstarministries.org/Publisher/Article.aspx?id=1000031456) and some of the video on the website. I read about how something remarkable was going on over in Charlotte.

More specifically, at the Worship and Warfare conference (you know, the one I was supposed to be at six months ago) the whole thing had been kinda interrupted by God with a big move of the Spirit. What’s more, the same thing, only bigger, was now happening at the OTHER conference God wanted me to attend a few days ago.

You know, I can get pretty passionate about God and I am a ‘hand raiser’ in worship, but I’m not at all a Holy Roller. To be really honest, at lot of that video coming from Morning Star makes me decidedly uncomfortable. But when I was reading that article, especially the parts about fatherhood and dreams, I was overcome with the Spirit in a way that I’ve never felt before (or least not in a long time). I was shaking and caught somewhere between crying and giggling and I just started to freak out.

It was awesome!
It was frightening!
I want more!

That afternoon, I dropped by my church on a business errand and had a chance to bring Bill along for a brief drive. As I shared the story with him, particularly my only deepening dilemma regarding Rebekah, he said the simplest of things – ‘Maybe you should invite her?’

Wait, wait, wait. Are you saying that when Captivating says that a woman wants to be invited into the adventure (not to BE the adventure) that I can just, you know, INVITE her? I swear it seems so stupid and obvious now but that exceedingly simple answer was totally hidden form me prior to that moment. That night I took Re out to a nice dinner...trying to buy her off in case it was un uncomfortable conversation. :) But in all honesty it was a very good and basically obvious conversation and she said yes – she’d love to go.

It was then (or maybe earlier that day, I don’t remember now or sure) that I decided to start putting all of this on my blog.

One of the other strong and recurring themes here has been the community aspect of this process. For better or for worse, and whether I’m excited about the idea of being all transparent or not, I’m convinced that God wants this...whatever it is...to be out in the open, or you dear reader to see as it unfolds.  Of course a part of that is just the power of testimony and of story. But I’m convinced there is also something here about sharing in whatever blessing God has in store on he other side of the country. He’s told me that I have to sit and let His provision ‘come to me like a child’ a phrase I’ve had repeated to me often in the last few weeks (though not as often as ‘Charlotte’).

So that’s what the whole donation thing is about. I’m convinced that he wants me to invite anybody who wants, anybody who is thirsty, to be a part of this...this...thing. Sort of a highways and hedges bit (Mat 22), which may turn out to be a far more accurate metaphor that I really meant it to be when I first used it. Other people have prepared me for this, but I must say I’ve been surprised (and to be honest disappointed in some cases) about where the actual financial support for this has been rising from. I’ve been on the other end of fundraising and I certainly know what that’s like but this is my first time where I feel God asking me to put my hat out, it’s an odd experience, rife with emotion. But enough for that.

I reckon that about brings me the story up the current moment if you include the few additional notes I’ve added in other posts. I know at least one fellow from BCNW was fired up enough to go over there himself and Rick – go get ‘em tiger. Hopefully Re and I will join you. With that, I’ll log off and let you all know what happens next.

The Story

OK – I promised to tell the story that got me to this point and I reckon my lunch break is a good time to do that.

Once upon a time...
Sometime in 2007, and frankly I forget the circumstances now, I became convinced that God wanted me to attend a conference at Morningstar Ministries called the Worship and Warfare conference (which was in late October). I should make it clear that I was powerfully convinced of this as I was certain that God had spoken plainly and repeatedly about it. But every time I would move to put that together, specifically to buy a plane ticket, He would check me. There was no small amount of emotional and intellectual conflict in all of this, a real war between the conflicting things I was hearing and I was left hoping that he would open some kind of door...perhaps very similar to the way he got me to Boston a few years back. But the day came and went with no miraculous plane ticket, although there was a very intriguing bump at the last minute that I have now come to see as a temptation, not an opportunity.

All during the lead up to that non-event I told many people my feelings about that coming weekend. I felt strongly that God was calling me there not to attend a conference, but to meet somebody. Like the conference was just an excuse – it was some kind of connection that was the real purpose of the trip. What really rang my bell was when I downloaded the audio sessions from that conference a few days later and the very first thing out of Rick Joyner’s mouth was something along he lines of , ‘You think you’re here for a conference, but you’re not. You’re here to meet somebody.’ [Insert V8 style head-smack here]

With that behind me, I was pretty mixed up about the whole thing. Did I hear God right? Did I hear Him at all? Did I miss something? Was something set against me? I really didn’t know what to think and still haven’t come to any conclusions on the matter.

Fast forward 2.5 months to our BCNW Advanced Camp...
While we were putting on the advanced camp that winter (thanks for coming Matt and Mike), God was all up in my face about Charlotte, NC. He didn’t say Morningstar, or conference or anything like that. It was Charlotte, Charlotte, Charlotte, Charlotte. I must have been thumped a dozen times that weekend about Charlotte. “OK, God. Message received...don’t know what you’re saying but I got the Charlotte part.” Now I might have failed to mention that Worship and Warfare conference noted above was held just outside of Charlotte, NC and I can’t deny that I had a suspicion this new message was somehow related to that.

Maybe three weeks later, again I forget exactly how and when this happened, I was convinced that He wanted me in Charlotte for a different Morningstar conference – May 1-3 (Business in the Kingdom). But again, I kept getting checked when it came to actually booking a ticket. He just wouldn’t let me do it. This was now doubly frustrating. Here I was at least partly feeling like I had failed to apprehend the plan God had called me to a few months back and here I was being given a second chance in some way and He won’t LET me apprehend it. ACK! C’mon man...just let me buy a plane ticket...pleeeeeease....!

When Wednesday rolls around (the day I need to be on a plane), there is still no open door. I go to pour my daily cup of coffee and He says, ‘Chris – Go to Coffee Cottage.’ - That sounded a lot like, ‘Chris, go to Borders.’ from my previous trip to Boston so I took my empty cup and headed out. When I roll in the first thing I see is the ‘quote of the day’ which is  a chalkboard that reads, ‘God provides the wind, but we must raise our sails’ For a number of reasons that are too arcane to explain, that spoke strongly to me that I was on the right track. SO feeling like I had arrived...I tried as hard as a could to keep my sails high and waited for a breeze. I spent that whole day in cottage waiting (hence the post with that title). I had some beautiful conversations that day, really cool stuff, but no answer to what seemed to me like the obvious question: How do I get to NC for that thing you told to be at?...but no answer. On the prayerfully considered advice of the infamous John Bergquist, I decided I should double down and simply head for the airport. Try to play this out as far as it could go.

At this point in the story, I need to refill my coffee...

More aftershocks...

Yeah, these are little things but they continue to speak to me that God is still moving on this one thread...
  1. I walk out of the bank yesterday to see a lone parked car on the long Newberg street. Where is the license plate from? North Carolina of course. (Kris, I know you’ll appreciate that one with your Newberg plate story)
  2. Also from the bank (hmmm...I wonder if somehow that’s germane?) They today decided that the website requires this new block of security questions. One of which is: what’s your father’s mother’s name? That’s right, her name is/was Charlotte

Playing Catch Up...

OK, In my last post I said that I owed an explanation, and I reckon but first, a couple brief amendments to this unfolding story since there continues to be action here:

  1. The breakout, or whatever you want to call it, is still going on at Morningstar. If anything, it’s increasing. So that aspect of the equation remains live.
  2. I’ve come to believe that Rebekah should come with me on this trip. As Beth so eloquently put it, we’re one flesh in all ways and while I swear it’s the most obvious thing in the world now that I have it in mind, I see that for some reason it just never occurred to me. Tat thread needs a lot of additional clarification by itself, and perhaps I’ll get into it a little later, but for now just know that all the members of BCNW have been wrestling with this question for most of he last 9 month or so – how do we include our wives in what God is doing? How do we invite them in? Well here’s an idea: invite her...DUH!
  3. Joyner makes a brief point in this article, http://www.morningstarministries.org/Publisher/article.aspx?id=1000031456, that he sees something on the horizon that focuses on motherhood and what our culture has lost there. To that end I notice that this Sunday is both Mother’s Day AND Pentecost. I can’t say that I’ve had any kind of secret knowledge there, but that mash up seems significant to me.
  4. Not only i the Breakout continuing at Morningstar, but God continues to ping me on the need to get there. He popped me twice yesterday with little nudges that mostly just confirm that I’m on a real scent here.

So that’s the morning report (thank you Zazu...) and I’ll check back in soon.

06 May 2008

...still waiting

I owe everybody and explanation to be sure, and I'll be getting to that, but right now I just want to make a quick post.

Last week I was pretty certain that God wanted me to be in Charlotte, NC...for something. But I didn't know what.

Just to cut to the chase, I'm convinced that God STILL wants me to get to Charlotte as soon as possible, but for reasons that I'm not entirely understanding, he want's me to ask for help. No small part of this may simply be that affording this trip would be a stretch, but I don't know that that's even a big part. I think a much bigger part is just inviting my friends to participate in something the He is orchestrating.

So I reckon I need to raise about $600 for a plane ticket and probably a little more for things like hotel room, food, etc.

Listen up: This is not a desperate plea for a collapsing bank account or anything like that. ONLY pitch in if you think God is asking you to. So PRAY first. Then, if you feel led...

Next, and as soon as possible, I will write a long and ignoble post to explain all the baggage that goes along with this story...because it IS a story, not just a weird blip on the radar. But that will take some time and right now I just need to pack...

PS: you know...while you're at it, also pray if you should COME! For me, I see something that I know God has invited me to (at the least) witness. See if that doesn't fit you as well.