January 21, 2013
Yom Tov, Friends:
This evening marks the completion of my 21-day fast, and yet another journey into what Madame Jeanne Guyon (French mystic, circa 1700) coined: “the mysterious depths of Jesus Christ.”
Without exception, when we fast for the purposes of drawing nearer to God, and that we might further be conformed to the image of Messiah Y’shua; He answers the yearning of our souls to more closely commune with Him. And it is this present communion which has resulted in the new mission in which I find myself—as I type.
I wish to thank each of you for the overwhelming response to my recent request that you would consider sowing financially, and with your prayer support, into my latest Mission to Israel—a mission which, in much larger context, is that representative of the ongoing fruits of 2 previous missions in which I have been honored to have been included—the Amish and Mennonite Repentance and Blessing missions of 2010 and 2012 respectively; that I might again sojourn with Sarah and Abraham in Jerusalem, and serve as a conduit of healing to Sarah and Abraham. As of today your gifts toward this mission have not only surpassed my projected personal expenses; they have also resulted in what will be a significant financial gift rendered to Abraham and Sarah as I greet them on Wednesday. For those of you who could not sow-into this mission financially; your prayer-support is an even greater gift. I am aware that all of us have met with trying economic times—me and Gigi included. And so, please be reminded that this was a no-guilt plea for your response.
As I have shared previously, Sarah’s cancer therapy has come at great cost. As such our collective gift to them will water their souls. Additionally, I wish to thank those of you who designated gifts directly to Sarah and Abraham above and beyond what you have sown-into me personally for my traveling expenses. I am simply in awe of your hearts, and more pointedly your hearts toward the “apple of God’s eye”—Zion. You cannot get much close to the core of this “apple,” than Sarah and Abraham.
I’m presently at a hotel in New York, for an overnight stay prior to my departure for Tel Aviv tomorrow (Tuesday). I arrive in Tel Aviv late Wednesday morning following an estimated 12.5-hour flight. Benjamin, Abraham’s business partner and friend in Tel Aviv, is going to seek to break-away from the bustle of his schedule, to drive me from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I am very grateful for his kindness. As many of you may recall as we were in Israel together in November, I complimented Benjamin on his selection of a rather “charismatic” pair of socks he was sporting at the time. As I see him on Wednesday I will be presenting to him a set of 3 pair of argyle socks—which no man can live without.
I have been very privileged over the past 32 years to have been granted countless avenues in which to minister, many of which have been a great honor for me, and which have permanently changed me. However I must say that what awaits me in Israel this time, is of a nature which will require more Spirit-sensitivity and faith combined, than I have ever sought to move-in. In this light, I realize now in retrospect, that this 21-day fast was the perfect prelude to such—as the fast ended on the very day on which I have embarked upon my return to Israel—a turn of events which were wholly unpremeditated at the onset of my fast on January 1st.
It was while in my prayer room perhaps a little over a week ago that that the Holy Spirit so surged me with such a love and compassion for both Sarah and Abraham, that all I could do was weep. It was not long following, that I generated my blanket prayer request, that this trip become a reality.
As most if not all of you are at least in a cursory capacity familiar with the colorful history of the Azusa Street Revival, I’m certain you will appreciate a momentary glimpse into a timely maxim from F.F. Bosworth, one of the primary faith-healers spawned by this outpouring (John G. Lake was yet another). On the wall, next to my Quiet-Time chair in our study, is an 8” x 10” black & white photo of F.F. Bosworth, William Seymour and John G. Lake, taken sometime between 1906 and 1910, outside a meeting house on Azusa Street (Los Angeles). As odd as this may sound to some of you, I actually feel an anointing emanating from that photo. It was F.F. Bosworth, author of Christ the Healer; a copy of which I have in my possession as I type; and which I am re-reading for perhaps the 5th time; said:
“We cannot reach-up and grasp with our hands from God, what we cannot first envision with the eyes-of-faith.”
It is through the “eyes-of-faith” that I have seen in recent weeks, visions of Sarah being delivered and healed of stomach cancer. When our first recourse is not that to believe God for the miraculous, we very often fall-prey to becoming comfortable with much less.
Miraculous healing is still in fashion—despite what the Apologists would have us believe.
Aware that such is wholly upon God’s shoulders; I am equally aware that our part is that in exercising faith—great faith, and in consecrating ourselves as channels for the divine.
What I have long referred to as “The Genesis 12:3 Key” is being released over the lives of everyone who has responded to my plea. The blessing for the Church at-large, is spiritual in nature—largely experienced in the form of an increased measure of God in our midst. And is this not the purpose of our meetings as we congregate? If it is not, we’ve surely been duped somewhere along the way.
As I bring this note to a close, and while dangling by but one thread of cogency on the heels of having slept for all of 1 hour last night; I wish to offer you yet another download the Holy Spirit spoke to me just a few days ago, in and through another precious observation in nature.
It was early in the morning as I let my dog out (“Joybee the Wonder Dog”—black & tan short-hair miniature dachshund), that she might “make the beepees” (that’s, “Number 1”). As I did so, a small Schnauzer named “Snicker-Doodles” (who had escaped from the property next to us) came to pay Joybee a visit. And as with each occasion that Snicker-Doodles escapes and visits Joybee, they dart around jumping over each other like a couple of wild rabbits, running in figure-8 patterns and having a blast playing cat-n-mouse. Joybee rarely gets to see other dogs, and rather enjoys the company of her 20-pound brother (“Freud” – the cat). Joybee is but 12 pounds. It was as Snicker-Doodles was finished visiting Joybee, that he darted back to his house, and disappeared.
Though it was not even 20 degrees outside, and Joybee was shivering in the cold (she did have a sweater and jacket on), she darted toward Snicker-Doodles as he disappeared, and ran her 50-foot leash-line taunt, to then lean away from the line as hard as she could, to stretch just another ½” toward Snicker-Doodle’s direction. She froze in that position, shivering from the cold, and whimpering in a pitiful chimpanzee-like fashion, and remained focused upon where she had last seen Snicker-Doodles, for at least 10 minutes. At the 3-minute mark I went back inside to warm up, and had the unusual sense that I should observe her for a moment. As I stood inside the door, and as the minutes ticked-by, the Holy Spirit whispered this to me:
“Joybee’s entire being is fixed upon seeing Snicker-Doodles re-appear where she had last seen him. She is certain that he will return—right where he was last seen. She is so intent upon him reappearing that she will freeze before she concludes otherwise.”
It was then that I realized what was being spoken to me. We as Spirit-filled Believers have many times witnessed powerful visitations from God, wherein He has visited a location in such might that for a time a heavenly portal is established, and all who visit the locale are touched profoundly. As time marches on however, and though the portal may dissipate, we yet eagerly wait for Him to return to the same place, and in the same way. However, God is ever-changing, and no two visitations of His presence and power are the same. He is always up to something new—which requires new levels of faith, new levels of risk, new levels of hope and anticipation, new levels of vision; and new levels of the revelation of the love, mercy and compassion in which He seeks-out the lost and the sick among us. Also required, are new levels of consecration—through prayer and fasting.
I have so enjoyed interacting with those of you who have opted to fast as well. It was for this reason that chose to make known my fast—to spawn participation from others. I have enjoyed the deeper dialog with each of you—the brand of transparent sharing which occurs when our bodies are dying—while our spirits are awakening with new life—as the result of fasting. It is talking about those deep recesses in the heart, which sets the stage for God’s whole habitation therein. He is after the “whole heart” (Psalm 119:2). Your reward will be rich, and I’m lifting each one of you in prayer.
For those of you who are unaware; Micah and Nancy Smith over many years, and Ben and Barbara Girod in more recent years, have modeled Y’shua to Abraham and Sarah in Israel, and at home, in such a way that Abraham and Sarah have witnessed the indelible fingerprints of Y’shua in their midst. It was this lengthy investment in Abraham and Sarah which set the stage for both of them to be showered with the love of God by the collective Anabaptist team recently in November. My ministry to them therefore, comes on the heels of precious labor which has gone before—and which I handle with great care. It was in emulating the love of Y’shua, over such a long period, as Micah and Nancy, and Ben and Barbara have, that the stage has been set for Y’shua to show Himself majestic to both of them. In this light, and in this context, I am not only humbled and honored to co-labor with these couples and the larger Anabaptist Connections and Global Gateway Network teams; I am also humbled and honored that so many of you would so lovingly and sacrificially sow-into this latest mission with your prayers, and with your finances.
I am eternally grateful to each of you.