Wednesday, December 17, 2008

3 New Age Mystics From Iraq

Matthew 2:1-15 Boldly records events that, if they happened today, what would likely be roundly criticized in many Christian circles. In this ages old color commentary of the birth of Christ, Bible knowledge is sharply contrasted with 3 eastern mystical Kings in eager pursuit of a revelation of KINGDOM NOW through visions, dreams and signs. These events beg the question:How long will we substitute reading, hearing and even knowing the scriptures for the precious reality of living in the transcendent supremacy of the KINGDOM NOW?

The Matthew 2 passage is renowned for reading in children’s Christmas plays. The truth is that if these same easterners showed up in some of our church services we’d have ushers, prayer warriors, deliverance team members and a 9 and a 1 dialed to protect our children from them!

“Pastor! Those guys that just came in are saying that they’ve been ‘reading’ the stars and that one star in particular told them to come HERE….from, brace yourself pastor….from IRAQ!” (It is a historic fact that “We 3 Kings” probably came from modern day Iraq)

Furthermore, the Matthew passage tells us that Herod called in his best Bible teachers of the day (Chief priests and Scribes) to learn more about where the Christ was to be born. Astonishingly enough, they read Micah 5 to him and he, in turn uses that information in an attempt to turn the 3 Kings into unwitting snitches who will come back to him and reveal the exact location of Jesus so Herod can have him killed!

Wait a minute….are these Bible teachers and Herod using the Bible for something other than reaching into the Heavens for a revelation of signs that make you wonder? Are they using the scriptures for information instead of transformation? Could it be that they are so cold hearted as to miss the possibility of the KINGDOM NOW even as they take their stand upon chapter and verse? Does any of this sound familiar?

You can read, hear and “know” the scriptures apart from the Holy Spirit and be just as dead as never having opened a Bible. But if you can read, hear or know any Word in the Book, you have an opportunity to reach into to it by the Spirit and make it your own personal sign and wonder. It is the Holy Spirit’s personal assignment to make these stories and Words WONDER-FULL. When once you ever dare to pull a Word into your experience you will find that the same Word will pull you UP into the heavenlies and out of your mere material subsistence.

I know this blog is a bit scattered and maybe even a tad bit disjointed. Perhaps just a reflection of me these days. If you’ve made it this far, I’m sure you can bear with me to the following conclusion. In John 5:37-42 Jesus said to a group of upstanding Bible “knowers” that for all their searching the scriptures, they were not entering the very Life of those same verses. Readers, its time for a new breed of mystics whose faith is deeply rooted in Love for the Bible, not as a portable Museum…but as a Map for amazing discovery through visions, dreams and signs, O MY!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Bondslave of the Impossible

Those who know me well know that I adore the story of mother Mary with a towering honor for her spirit. To me she embodies every quality which ought to typify all of Christianity. While Catholicism worships her as a deity and Protestants run the other way, both extremes are sadly in error. For the Catholic to make this beautiful lady a god is to miss the raw power of her humanity. For the Protestant to lightly pay her “honorable mention” pitifully misses the dare of God’s call to us to become as she was; a bondslave of the Lord and His impossible offer.

Luke 1:37,38 Records the summary of Mary and the angel Gabriel’s conversation, “(Gabriel) For nothing will be impossible with God. And Mary said, ‘Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.’” Does that do to you what it does to me? Let me see if I can unpack this adequately….
Mary is, at most, 16. There is absolutely no precedent for what she is hearing. The closest thing that might have crossed her mind was that of much older, married women of the Old Testament who were given children of promise….along with their husbands!

Mary is on an island in this category. There is no other way to describe this encounter other than astonishing in its reach and stunning in its ramifications. Yet, something in the transcendence of the moment pushes Mary to the conclusion that she must become a bondslave to this impossibility! Hear that again; she happily surrendered herself as a SLAVE of the Lord and His offer of doing the impossible.
My apostolic father, Bill Johnson says it this way, “Our debt to the world is an encounter with God”. To that end, we must become bondslaves of doing the impossible. A people of a covenant to live beyond our means! To do works that transcend my limited abilities to show the world a God of unlimited abilities. If all the church is offering is clean living born out of good doctrine then we have certainly become what Paul warned us about, “…holding a form of godliness although they have denied its power…avoid such men as these.”

We owe our culture a living, visible demonstration of the Kingdom of another world. Jesus told His disciples to heal the sick and define that moment of healing as the Kingdom’s appearance on earth. I’m not batting a thousand on that command, YET….
But all around me are the evidences of the Kingdom’s transcendent supremacy. Just to name a few: A premature baby alive and well. A case of vertigo, gone in an instant. A life time of back pain smashed by Kingdom come. Cancer….GONE. A multiple year stomach ailment removed overnight. Ten new clients in a budding new ministry for the eradication of addictions…delivered by the power of the Kingdom and a Kingdom warrior named Steve. A marriage dragged back from the abyss into abundant living. Mental illnesses erased. An ocean that could not break my son-in-law’s neck. A unbeliever who walks into our gathering and hears the prophetic reading of their heart. Story after story of recent conversions into an irresistible Kingdom that draws humans into an encounter with God not because they were threatened with hell to come but because they tasted Heaven on earth in the Kingdom NOW!

I’m a happy slave of conquering the impossible. I’ve discovered the true nature of Christianity is the presence of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. I’ve heard it said that when we get to heaven “some day” that we’re in for a lot of surprises. While I’m sure that’s true, I’ve decided to take a different path of life that minimizes my surprises tomorrow through discovery TODAY.

Just prior to World War II amphibious landings were deemed impossible due to notable failures in World War I. MacArthur, Eisenhower and other heroes of that day never got their boots wet in basic training for an amphibious assault. A lesser known military officer nicknamed, “Mad (as in mad-man) Smith advised the strategists of his day that the war could not be won without large scale amphibious assaults. “Mad” was told that such an idea was impossible. His answer? “Well, then we are going to do the impossible and we are going to do the impossible WELL.” Mr. Mad was a bondslave to the impossible. World War II was won by heroes who did the impossible.

Mad, Mary, Randy…..any more bondslaves out there?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Quick Update on Darren

As some of you may already know, my son-in-law Darren Hose was badly injured in a freak accident in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last Wednesday. He, along with my daughter Libby and our 2 grand-daughters were given a condo for a week and they were having the time of their lives enjoying the sun, the ocean and boogie boarding. Darren had befriended a policeman from Canada and the two of them were hitting some unusual waves that had churned up. Suddenly one of those waves crested and simply dropped in a rogue fashion that literally threw Darren to the ocean floor like a cannon ball….face first.

When he hit the floor his neck must have bent at a 90 degree angle. His doctor here said Friday that the spinal cord was stretched as far as it could be without snapping. Darren told us that he immediately knew that he had no use of his legs and arms. His mouth was jammed full of sand. When he finally floated to the surface he forced the sand out and screamed for help. The Canadian cop sprang into action and saved Darren’s life.

Without going into the frightening hours that followed, suffice it to say that Libby was gathering and wrangling her 3 year old and 8 month old daughters into a nightmare experience at a foreign hospital. She called me and sent out the immediate cry for prayer. The following day, with help from the Red Cross and 2 or 3 maxed credit cards we got Darren on a plane home. (Note to all travelers: never, NEVER, NEVER travel without trip insurance! The Hoses are kicking themselves that they did not take out the $37 per person insurance that would have paid for everything, including a trip home for the girls WITH Darren, instead of the trip they had to make alone on their regular tickets 2 days later).

We praise God that today Darren is walking and at home! He is not out of the woods as to the extreme pain in his arms which is the result of the spinal cord trauma. Darren describes it as having been skinned alive. His doctor says that this is a typical reaction when a patient is recovering from near paralysis.

A benefit account has been established at Anchor Bank PO Box 475 New Richmond, WI 54017-9935 in the name of “Darren Hose Benefit”. Check our church web site at for ongoing updates.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Heavenly Knighthood (Christmas Blog Reissue)

One of the great classic scriptures describing the Christmas story is found in Luke 2:8-20. The problem with such passages is that they take on such a legendary and mythical status that they can cease to be present day truth that can kick our butts out of bed and light fires of destiny. Let’s spend a few moments and challenge that notion…

Angels catch shepherds in the graveyard shift and stun them with a rock opera blast in the heavens. The original language strikes a chord in me on several levels here; “…the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them and they were terribly frightened”. “Frightened” in the “check your shorts” category of screaming, “mommy!!!!” Then the town-crier angel attempts to correct the problem he caused by saying, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all people. For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ, the Messiah, the Lord!”

This next account has always been a favorite of mine. It has always brought a passionate and vibrant sense of heaven’s dynamic expectation of what God is about to do on earth. I have such a holy ache for us to be like this heavenly blast of excitement; “And suddenly, there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven- a heavenly knighthood- praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace’”

A HEAVENLY KNIGHTHOOD crashed through the night skies. Imagine with me the closing scene of the movie, “Braveheart” where warrior poets run to the battle field with reckless abandonment. A HEAVENLY KNIGHTHOOD ripped the curtain off the threshold between that world and this and in essence said, “God be PRAISED! LOOK OUT earth, here we come with Heaven’s Messiah King in tow. The final invasion begins NOW and everyone who receives this is about to have their world rocked. The earth is about to be repossessed by its rightful Owner and there is no turning back”.

The Christmas story tells me that I will never understand or even begin to appreciate the Second Coming of Christ if I have not become a full partner in and an active participant with the First Coming of Christ. A Heavenly Knighthood preceded His First Coming and they are still here to this day to pick a fight for peace on earth with any interloper or intruder who opposes Christ’s rightful claim to the planet for which He died.

His Second Coming will not be announced by the whimper of a Church clutching to our memories of Christmas Past when we could say, “Merry Christmas” without signing petitions. His Glorious Return will be attended by the same Knighthood of Heaven who will be savoring the Marriage of the Messiah King to a Glorious Bride whose brilliance will be comparable to His own. “On earth, peace!” is not just a song to be sung but a war to be won!