Sunday, December 9, 2012

Somewhere Between Then and Now: On Identity.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on the last several years. Not for the sake of considering my weaknesses or faults, or even to glory in my triumphs and strengths, but to take inventory of significant moments. I’ve been thinking through the subject of identity and so my reflections have primarily been trying to isolate events, incidences, details, and moments where I felt fully myself and completely alive.
Do you know those moments I’m talking about? When you all-of-the-suddenbecome aware that everything that is happening is perfect? You’re shocked as you notice those imperfect people around you and in your life, that even the conditions and atmospheres are less than desirable, but there’s something about the moment that you’re in feels so right. It swallows up the less-than-perfects and your heart feels like it’s singing a brand new song that you’ve never heard. You know? Maybe not. That’s how I feel sometimes in those moments.
I think these moments define us. They shape us. They give us a glimpse of who we are deep down and if we pay attention to them, they can become the external reality that we omit because of the depth that they have taken on the inside. So, my quest is to take cues from these moments, and to hopefully discover more fully my core values that are based off of who I am. Not really sure how to figure out what my core values are/should be, so I’m starting with this: moments that I have felt fully alive.


So, this blog is moment #1 (Not in order of importance, but of remembrance):
1) Walking on the Beach in Harvey Bay, Australia circa 2008.
I had a mug off coffee and a warm hoodie to combat the windy, cool early Australian morning. It was 5:15am and I was up and about— eager to continue my conversation with my Father, which is a miracle in itself. For me to get out of bed at that time requires the fortitude and resources of a large metropolis. I left my shoes at the tent I was camping in and my feet gloried in the cool sand. I walked along the beach, sipping my coffee (by french roast, yumz), taking in the beginning of the sunrise and letting my soul bask in the sounds of the tide drumming against the shoreline. I let the water tickle my feet from time to time, but it was too cold. I started talking with my Father about some dramatic events in my life and then stopped. I asked Him if we could just not process difficulty and be together. I sensed a smile. So, I dropped that. Then I just started to realized the overwhelming Presence on the beach. From the moment I had stepped out onto the sand, I had felt Him— as if He had been waiting in eager anticipation for me to shuffle out of my sleeping bag and let the caffeine carry me to the Australian shoreline. 
We chatted about nothing in particular. I was extremely thankful for a moment to unwind with Him, just to enjoy who He is and all the wonderful things happening in my life. Lots of laughter and sighs of satisfaction ensued. At some point I said a seemingly random thing outloud— I guess it had just come to mind while we were talking— and I said something along the lines of, “You know, Dad, I really want to live a life of adventure. A life of risk. I want to stop listening to the voice of fear and listen to your voice of trust.” After I said that, there I just sat in the silence that followed that declaration as the sun started to break through the morning clouds a little more fully. And a small, quiet whisper of a voice replied, “Do you trust me?” And I responded, “I think so.” And again, “Jump in the ocean.” 
At this particular point of time, there had been an drastic resurgence of box-jelly fish on the coast— a type of jellyfish that was dangerous and potentially fatal— so many in our crew were recommending to DTS students that we not swim without a full body suit. I didn’t see any jelly-fish this morning, nor was I entirely ridden with fear about being stung by one as the cases had been relatively few and far between, but the recent resurgence did bring some gravity to the situation. All that to say, the choice  to jump into the ocean wasn’t life threatening, but it was uncomfortable, especially since I was fully clothed and it was cold.
After a few moments consideration, I dropped my mug and ran into the ocean. I jumped into an on-coming wave like it was a hug from heaven and laughed all the while. As my body was submerged in cold water and the early morning wind ambushed my body, I was overcome with an even deeper sense of His Presence from head to toe— it was almost as if His smile grew bigger. I walked back onto the shore, changed my clothes and finished my devotions on the beach with a new coffee in hand, warm and full of joy. 
My takeaway from that encounter was this: not all of our risks for the Kingdom will be as easy and fun as jumping into a cold ocean, but all of them will be marked by God’s overwhelming pleasure in my saying “Yes” to Him.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


A few weeks ago, I went to St. Louis with my mentor Shane Jason Mock and several friends. There was to be a church planting conference going on, of which the pastor from my Shane's church (Frontline, OKC) was invited to be a keynote speaker. The conference was for church planters in America. The organization that was putting the conference together requested that Shane bring a group of people do to prophetic ministry as Frontline is known as a “signs and wonders” church. Don't read too much into that though. Frontline people are very real and down to earth. They see miracles for sure, but I wouldn't classify them as they typical charismatic church. Plus, it is easy to think someone is a prophet (or as I call some of my friends “signs and wonders freaks”) if you see them get one, good word of knowledge. So we don't put much stock in reputation because reputation is flimsy. All the same, we felt honored.

We piled in the car at 5:00am. I am not a morning person. I was driving though, so I chose my music, drank my coffee and acted like I was a morning person for the sake of those around me. They saw right through me. Lots of good conversation followed, vision-casting and asking the Lord what He was saying about the weekend ensued, and then of course the testimonies of what God's been doing lately and the milestone moments in the journey. After a couple of hours though, you start reaching for the “years ago” testimonies. They are fun, but you can feel that dynamic tension of, “we've been talking about the power of God for hours.. So maybe we should start going after it again.”

I'm not afraid to admit that I miss words from time to time. It would be dishonest to say that I didn't, and misunderstanding what God is saying in a particular instance doesn't mean I am a false prophet or that I am deceived, it means that I misunderstood. So, being riled up with hours of conversation, I found myself looking around for someone to pray for at the coffee shop/gas station break we had stopped for. I saw a guy. I went over to ask him about the picture I was seeing. With a look of angry bemusement, he said no. Dang. Missed it. But at least I tried.

Now, on the way up to St. Louis I tried giving a prophetic word to about three different people and either missed them entirely or those people were really good liars. My friend Brian on the other hand, saw three people healed and ministered powerfully accurate prophetic words at the gas station and McDonalds and wherever we stopped really. At this point the thought comes, “Maybe I am actually not that gifted. Alright. We're done for today.”

Add in two more healings for Brian, and a few more negative thoughts and I'm done. I've pretty much given up and faith has left my to dry up like a raisin.

So, we were at St. Louis Bread Company an hour before the conference is to begin. I was disappointed and frustrated. As I was eating my dinner, brewing over my missed words, I see a guy in the corner that I find myself drawn to. As I look at him, I see the word “leader” written in boldface hovering over his head. That is the most generic word in the entire world, so not very impressive. Didn't help my attitude. But I figured I had to start somewhere. So I walked over, and as I did I saw several more images come into my mind. I went up to him and said, “Excuse me sir? This might sound weird, but sometimes God gives me pictures for people when He wants to encourage them. I keep seeing the word “leader” written over your head and I saw a picture of you teaching college-aged kids.. But you actually were teaching them from the bible and I also see the word “pastor” written over you and..” As I was about to explain how I didn't mean the title or position pastor, but rather having a very nurturing, counseling and caring gifting, he interrupted me and said, “Who put you up to this?”
I replied, “Um.. No one. Like I said.. Sometimes, I get pictures from God for people and..”
He interrupted again, “Do you know who I am?”
“Are you going to a conference by New Frontiers called Pushing Back Darkness this weekend?”
“Actually, yes.”
“Well, I am one of the keynote speakers for that conference, and I am a pastor based out of Washington.” He started thanking me and told me that he felt really encouraged as his church was just starting up a ministry to college-aged kids and he was feeling insecure about it.
Also, I later found out that the conference was actually geared towards college-aged kids.

That evening, after a person from our team preached, we lined up as a ministry team to pray for any needs that anyone might have. After some time, one of our teammates went up to call out a few words of knowledges for healing from the microphone. I had been feeling pain in my stomache all during worship, which was both unprovoked and inexplicable, so I leaned over to him as he went up and whispered, “Call out gastro-intestinal pain.” About 40 people responded to the words given. The first person came up to me and after asking how I could pray for them, the man responded, “I have GI.”
To which I replied, “What is that?”
He went on to explain that he had chronic pain in his gastro-intestinal tract. Of course, I freaked. The first guy out of 40 responding to 10 words of knowledge that had been given for healing, only one of which was mine, and he happened to come to me first. So I prayed over him. A couple minutes went by, and he confessed with tears in his eyes and shock on his face that all of his chronic pain had disappeared as he felt the tingly, hot presence of God come into His stomach. So, I freaked out again. I started thanking Jesus and went on to the next person.

Next person was a younger lady who also had GI. Two for two so far. I started praying for healing, but as I did I got a prophetic word for her. I said, “I feel like the Lord is saying that the desire of your heart is to start an orphanage in Africa and to start a school for at-risk children, but you are meeting opposition from your family and friends. The Lord wants you to know He gave you that desire and He is going to provide a support system, financially and relationally for you.” As soon as I had said the word “orphanage” the girl started weeping. She told me that she had spent her last summer abroad working in an orphanage in Africa and while she was there the Lord told her that it was her calling to start one of her own, including education for the orphans. Her family deeply disapproved and she was struggling with what she had heard the Lord say. And then, with more tears spilling from her eyes, she told me, “And.. and.. All that pain left!” I had her bend over to test it (not really sure how you test GI pain), and she said there was absolutely no pain.

Next person that came up was another young man who told me he also had GI chronic pain and that it had last several years. Three for three! I was so full of faith, having already seen two others healed, so I told the man that he was going to be healed. I told him the two testimonies and that the Lord had spoken to me that night about it. He was a little wary at first, but his wariness turned to awe after I prayed for him and all the pain left his body. That night 9 people responded to GI pain and 6 were healed immediately when our team prayed for them, and the other three all told us that that they felt something had happened but were not sure if all the pain was gone as the pain came and went. We also saw a broken septum healed, and I saw two people healed of back pain, both of which were preceded by words of knowledge. One of the words of knowledge included not only that the man had back pain in the small right side part of his lower back, but also the details of the bicycle accident that had occurred a few months prior that had caused the pain. The man was instantly healed, and he checked it by twisting his back every way he could, most of which, as he told me later, he would not have been able to do before I prayed for him.

God is so good! When He speaks people are deeply impacted, when He heals people get rocked, and when His Presence shows up love and power are released everywhere.

More stories to come!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

FATHER's Love at EL Chico and GAP

I'm going to give a "2011: Year in Review" soon, but until that time, I thought I would go ahead and post this story. It may or not seem impressive to you, but the thing I like about it is how down to earth and natural the Holy Spirit is. He meets my needs and He moves in power even when I am on a bad day. Love that. Not sure if anyone follows this blog anymore, but if you do, I hope you're blessed by this testimony:

I was having a rough morning, missing my family and feeling really lonely. I drove to the mall to use up a giftcard from Christmas and as I did, I saw a sign for the restaurant El Chico. It reminded me of my dad because he and I used to eat there almost weekly for a season. It deepened my loneliness, but then I heard my Heavenly Father say, “Why don’t you go to El Chico with me? Let’s have lunch together.” I laughed, picturing myself alone at a table in a mexican restaurant-- a pathetic sight. But I felt like there was something on it. I went to GAP, shopped around but felt like I wasn’t supposed to buy anything yet. I went to GAP and told them I needed a table for one. 10 minutes later they set up a table for 2, which I thought was God’s confirmation that this was HIS idea. I sat down, ordered a diet coke and browsed the menu. The diet coke came and as I was looking at the menu I saw a picture of two diet cokes on the table and the Father was drinking one. So I considered ordering another diet coke even though I had a full one in front of me. But before I could, with my own drink COMPLETELY full, the waiter brought out a SECOND diet coke and placed it in the exact spot that I had envisioned before. After that, I had faith that God was with me on the “Father-son” date, and I started talking to Him and had a great time with Him, feeling so loved and all the loneliness disappear.

Then I went to GAP to pick up the few items I had been trying on. At the cash register, I started talking to the Lady who was checking me out and as I did, I saw a picture of her in a class room with what looked like middle-school aged children and heard the word “anxiety.”
So I asked her, “Hey, are you studying in the education department at OU?” She looked really surprised, and said, “Yeah… “
And then I said, “And you want to work with younger children, middle-school aged kids.” And she said, “How did you know that? Are you in the education department?”
I said, “This might sounds kind of weird, but sometimes God will give me pictures whenever He wants to encourage people and I saw a picture of you teaching middle-school aged children. I feel like He wants you to know that His favor is all over you and that if you’re feeling anxiety over your career or finding a job after college, He wants to bring you peace and show His provision.”
At this point, her jaw was open and she had a look of complete shock on her face. She finished up the transaction thanking me, and I blessed her and told her God’s favor was on her life.

Even on my bad days, He is GOOD!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Seeing before seeing

I hold a firm conviction that God’s love and power have been immeasurably given to us and we can receive those things in any moment. When I chose to make the move from a YWAM missional culture (focused on the nations) to a local church in Norman-- trying to live missionally amidst the work, school, and daily life stuff-- I did so conscious that my conviction and faith had to be worked practically in the pace of “normal” life.

It’s my desire to see God’s love and power hit every facet of society: the arts realm, business world, education, religion, media, government and family. And I believe in order for that to happen there has to be champions-- people who follow Jesus who look at the impossible and believe that God makes possibilities out of crazy circumstances.

So, I’m in Norman working at a cafe, going to a community college in Oklahoma City, doing church, hanging out with friends and doing the normal daily routine. Every day I am faced with a decision: saying “Yes” to God or saying “Yes” to the spirit of the world that is everywhere around me. Like I said before, this transition from YWAM to Norman hasn’t been an easy one but it’s been a life giving one.

I thought that I’d give a few stories that have been encouraging to me that have happened in our community in the last while. These stories speak life to the dry places of my heart because they reveal God’s love and power and testify that He is working in America-- they show that we can live a passionate, kingdom-filled lifestyle and we don’t have to travel 10,000 miles to do it.

Story #1) A day before I was going to meet up with my discipleship group leader he gave me a call and told me that a guy named Josh would be joining us. He told me that he wanted me to pray over the dude and bring anything that Lord might say about him to the table but all he gave me was the name "Josh."

The next day, I was praying and I saw a picture of a short guy (around 5'6), with green eyes, brown hair and a blue shirt. It was a vague picture and I kind of was like, "There's no way I just saw a vision of the guy I'm about to meet." After that the Lord gave me a few things about Josh's destiny and some other gold stuff that is in his heart. I wrote it all down, figuring that if any of it was right the guy would only believe me if I had written it down. As I was driving down the road I got the phrase, "red head." I was confused at this point because earlier I saw a picture of a brown haired guy. I wrote it down, but wasn't planning on saying anything about it.

I walked into Starbucks, saw Phil and we started chatting. Josh walked in. He was a red head. He came over and introduced himself. Then he went over to a table and started to talk to someone while Phil and I got some coffee. He came over to us and told us that he had just been talking to a close friend who wanted to join us for our discipleship group. I walked over after getting my coffee and I saw that Josh's friend had short brown hair, green eyes, a blue shirt and he seems like he's a short height. My heart is pumping at this point as I begin to realize that Lord had given me a picture of this guy before ever meeting him.

Phil started sharing some stories about prophetic encounters. He loves doing that because it challenges people. Then he asked me if I had any stories to share. I pulled out my note pad (side note: most of my body is shaking at this point, out of nervousness and shock). I started to explain about how the Lord had shown me who Tyler was literally a few hours before I met him and that he had some stuff for Josh. I explained the picture I saw, showed him the noted pad and asked Tyler if he was 5'6. He nodded, giving me the "I'm freaking out right now" face (wide-eyed, jaw drop). Josh did the "I can't even look at you right now because I don't know what to think" face. Phil just laughed. I prophesied over Josh for a little bit. Afterwards, he looked at Tyler and says, "Does that sound right to you?" Tyler, still incredulous, "Oh yeah. He just described who you are." Then Josh started to tell me that some of the stuff I said to him, a close friend whom he hadn't seen in years had just recently (two days earlier) sat down with him over lunch and told him the exact same things, almost word-for-word.

At that point, Phil jumped in and explained that the Lord doesn't just give prophetic people a vision of what people look like and who they are on the inside for no reason-- He's was calling us somewhere. These guys left the discipleship group that night having encountered the love of God and with a new found passion for finding Jesus. A fun praise report-- These guys have been meeting with Phil and I all semester and have had numerous incredible encounters with the Lord. They grew up baptist and didn't even think this stuff was possible until the last few months. They are actually becoming quite prophetic themselves and have a passion for Jesus that is really inspiring.

Over the next few blog posts, I'll post some more recent stories from our community! Hope this encourages you. Sometimes even the faintest impressions are God speaking to you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Memorial to Leah Dettling, friend and mentor.

Some of you have heard about a recent friend of mine who passed away and some of you have been praying with me for months now for her. I thought that I would tell you a bit about her and how she impacted me in light of her passing. I would have loved to be at her memorial service this Saturday, but time and money are in lack. This blog is my poor attempt to offer my thanks to her and pay honor where honor is due.

I owe Leah my life.
I was a punk teenager who only cared about making myself feel good and making myself look good. A series of Divinely planned steps and seemingly irrational choices landed me in Australia in 2006 on the Music Arts and Dance Discipleship Training School. I didn't care about God, I cared about music. I was there because I wanted to travel and do music and I knew my parents would pay my way if it was through YWAM.

Leah taught the first week of my DTS. On the first day, I was struck by her passion. The power of her words were nailing me in the heart, leaving me with very little intellectual knowledge and very much emotional turmoil. On the second day, I was on the floor waiting for some sign from God that He was real when Leah began weeping over the state of my soul. We were both kneeling, she had her hand on my back, and started speaking my Father's heart to me. The whole week she kept saying, "In order to know God, you can't just know in your head-- you have to know by experience." On that day she wept over me, I asked for God to give me that fire-- I asked for a new, real faith. I asked for Him to never let go. He responded with 7 months of outrageously good experiences. By the end of that time, I saw a glimpse of His heart and it was enough to steal away all other desires. Leah was the one who obeyed Him and allowed herself to be broken over me.

Several other Divinely constructed encounters led to me coming back to that same YWAM base to do a Basic Leadership School, of which Leah was the leader. Getting God-provision and favor landed me in a classroom with this zealous woman of God, Leah. She taught on humility. She taught on the goodness of God. She taught on authority. She taught me how to hear the voice of God. She taught me how to have faith even in the darkest storms of life. And then she taught me how to teach and how to lead. She threw me into circumstances where I had the chance to try my wings out. Every time I fell I would find her and we would talk about it.

When we weren't doing the deep, ministry stuff, we were laughing. You see, Leah loved fun. She thrived on it and longed for it because of the intense community we lived in and all the pressures thereof. Game nights at her house were amazing and frequent and the food.. Ah, the food.. She was a really amazing cook. I always tried to steal a bite of her lunch that she brought to base. My seat of choice during lectures was next to Leah (so that I could have fun) and my afternoon of choice was distracting her from her paperwork (so that she could have fun). I made it my personal goal to get Leah to quit the serious stuff and just have a laugh with me-- or a coffee-- I loved getting her to relax.

There are literally countless times where Leah led friends and students into the presence of God in worship and intercession. There are literally countless of times where Leah would weep over people exemplifying the heart of God, or when she would lead us in repentance. She taught me that honesty and vulnerability are the tools of humility.

I had the privilege to learn about how God speaks-- especially through the mode of dreams and interpreting these mysterious sayings from Him. I had the honor to help her process some of her own dreams. She even invited me to help her lead prophetic outreaches in the local area, and allowed me to get my feet wet with risk. The prophetic came alive to me under her leadership, and for that I remain extremely grateful.

One moment, that I hope I never forget: My friend and I had been hosting 'worship nights' in the local community center. We would sing and do our thing, and then give people words and prayer ministry. We had experienced three or four amazing nights where it seemed that we ministered under the anointing with such easy and accuracy.. It was so amazing in fact, I indulged my thought life in becoming extremely pleased in the way I had been such an amazing prophetic, anointed dude. Man, I was one gifted guy. Leah came to one of the last meetings we held. As people were walking in, we were enjoying the presence of God, but for some reason I though I wasn't singing loud enough. And then I remembered that I thought it was ME that had brought all the anointing and glory-- I mean, I was just so dang special, right? Did I mentioned I had just finished a worship school?

So I stood up and started singing loud and dancing around. Nothing happened. No crazy overwhelming Presence entered the room. No anointing flowed. No awesome accurate words flowed. It was just me and a guitar trying to conjure up a sweet spiritual experience, and nothing happened. So I sat down.

Then Leah came over. She wept. And wept. And wept. And started asking the Father to bring the fear of God on my life. And then I wept. And wept. And wept. And we wept. And wept. In that moment, I realized that I had fallen into a pithole. My heart was feeding off of how people had esteemed me as a powerful worship leader and prophetic minister. My heart was loving being the center of attention. And in that moment with Leah by my side the revelation dawned: My heart needed Someone that could give true love and satisfaction. And, I can honestly say, that I have remained changed from that encounter.

It's hard to put into words the affection and love I feel for Leah. I spent a little over a year and half getting to know her as a friend and mentor. Even though that is a short time in comparison to some, a lot of what I know about God I have experienced either with her or through her and the crazy thing is that I am not the only one who can say that. There are dozens, probably hundreds, who have experienced the love of God in equal if not greater ways through her-- many have found inner healing with her, deliverance, physical healing, and/or a faithful friend in her.

The one thing that I saw in her life that I have adopted as my own: honesty. She refused to be fake with God. She refused to be okay with what she didn't understand. She was okay with being angry. She related to Him much like a girl would relate to her Father or Friend-- much like we're supposed to. Once I saw that God not only was okay with this (see all of the Psalms for evidence of this), but even invited it, I ran with it and my life has been the better for it. Nothing invites intimacy with God like honesty.

Leah Dettling is my personal hero. She fought even when things didn't seem worth fighting for. She dreamed, even when it seemed impossible. She prayed even when it felt hopeless. She loved even when she didn't feel that loved. There are no words that can express the loss that the world has as a result of her death. But this one thing I know for certain: While one hero died this last week, many that were touched by her will be raised up into the same strength, if not greater, and will change the course of history. I kid you not. Her influence and legacy lives on in every heart that she touched and spoke into, and our world experienced more of heaven's love because of it. We won't know the true fruit of all her labors until Eternity, but mark my words: the kingdom of darkness will reap greater loss in the years to come as the people whom Leah ministered to raise into their own and become a hero in the Spirit much like she was.

The world lost an amazing woman of God, but heaven received a beautiful faithful, loving princess with joy and there is a party going on. A crazy party is going on in heaven right now and Jesus is rejoicing, dancing and singing over His faithful servant, friend, and lover: Leah Dettling.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New season, new stuff.

So, I am living in America again.

It's kind of weird and kind of awesome. Anyway, this blog used to be a medium to share stories to people who were supporting me in my endeavors with YWAM whether that was via prayer, financial or moral support. Since I'm no longer apart of Youth With A Mission, I am going to let my blog transform accordingly.

At the moment, I am going to school, looking for a job, and have joined up with a community church. My goal is to learn how to live an intentional, 'Kingdom lifestyle,' which is a simple way of saying: I'm trying to figure out how to stay engaged with the Holy Spirit in the Mission of Jesus in every circumstance.

This season is a season of exploration and discovery, trying new things and retrying old things.
I have a lot of goals I'm aiming for, possibly some of which will expounded upon here at another time.

Since being home I have had a handful of historic God-moments, that have literally become unforgettable. It's cool to know He's as powerful here as He is in India, Japan and Australia.

Also, I love learning.
For now, that is all. For those of you who have followed this blog faithfully, thank you! I hope you enjoy the new things that come out from now on.

"Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved." Luke 5:36-38


Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Big Canvas

Over the past few months, the Lord has really been stirring me in His thoughts for the Body of Christ.
I have often indulged in judgement over the different denominations and branches of Christendom, and I am starting to see that my "us and them" mindset has caused me to miss out on so much of what the Lord has to offer. When I say "us and them", I really mean, people who differ and don't agree with me verses people who are similar and do agree with me. But there is something, to being in reverence of the gift of God deposited in every person and manifested in every person. God has created us unique and knows us intimately in our own ways. So, in my loving Him with all my heart, my mind, my soul and strength--it will be a completely different expression of love from that of someone who is wired entirely differently than I am.

This used to upset me. Now, it excites me.
I used to look for the right formulas. And by that I mean, the right teachings, the right prayers, the right worship, etc. If I've learned anything in the past years in my journey with Jesus, I've learned relationship trumps formula. While I do believe He is a God of structure and order (1 Cor 14:33), I also believe that He is a Father calling me to explore the identity of being His child (Romans 8). What I've come to realize again and again, is that I have something to learn from everyone. He has deposited part of His DNA in every person on earth and He awakens the DNA into a beautiful metamorphosis for us who are born of the Spirit through Jesus Christ.

When I was in Africa, I think this revelation began to dawn on me.
I sat in a small bible study that my Dad runs every week. He has three local african church leaders meet with him and explore scripture and what relationship with God is like every weekend. These three guys are very different. One of them has been discipled by YWAM and local churches, that follow more in the footsteps of Hillsong-esque churches. Another one used to be considered the town drunk, downing more alcohol than you'd think humanly possible. He has now been sober for two years, and even though he's rough around the edges, there is a divine spark of hunger in his soul to know Jesus, the real Jesus. Then there is another guy, who is maybe one of the most responsible, hard-working Africans I met. My dad talked highly of him, because this was a man who never asked for a dime from my dad in the last year (unlike many others) but had a consistent, growing hunger for Jesus.

I sat with these guys a handful of times listening to their responses to my dad's questions, amazed by them. They answered with such honesty and hungered for truth with such intensity. The smallest morsel of revelation was like a feast of kings for them. I listened in pure delight seeing the truth wash over them, and seeing them receive good news with joy. I saw in them the embodiment of Jesus' words, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled," (Matt. 5:6) and then I realized what true hunger was. I have only barely experienced it, but these sons of God walk in their hunger for God daily. I want that.

Next, I am confronted by one of my good friends, Will Stackable. Will and I had the blessing of being in a team together while we were ministering in Masipumalele. Will is one of my closest friends, but we are wired completely differently. He thrives on being around people, meeting new people, talking and learning from others, and to be honest, he's a natural evangelist. I tend to want to be alone or at least with people I know very well, I'd rather not meet a lot of new people in day, and I don't do well opening up with people I've never met before, and to be honest, I'm not a natural evangelist.

But, my delight was in working with Will. We, and our other two team members (who differed from one another as greatly as Will and I did from each other), had the privilege to learn from each other. In 1 John 2:28 says, "But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone should teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him."

I wasn't looking for a teaching on evangelism, but I was looking for the anointing of evangelism at work. I was looking for the fruit of the Spirit coming through Will and allowing the Lord to show me what it means to be an evangelist in my own right. So, we spent heaps of time with people and the whole time I was with Will and the other girls, I saw gifts of God at work at them, the anointing of the Spirit at work, and my heart was stirred to not only continue acting out in who I am, but in hungering for the manifestation of those gifts in my life, and in my personality.

Towards the end of the trip, I think I hit my stride. I was able to talk to people openly about my beliefs and offer prayer, where before it seemed like such a daunting task to accomplish.

In our times of worship and prayer, we saw others take the lead according to their gifting and anointing. My sister Kathyrn amazed me here. She took such a strong leadership, leading in conviction and faith on what God was speaking. Myself and others gave our two cents in what we heard from God, in prayers, in leading worship, but all contributed every morning. We saw another dynamic shift of those who felt and understood things from the Lord being a two fold gift-- In one sense, giving us direction and in another, seeing the Holy Spirit teach us through them.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to see the Holy Spirit come radically into every person's life experience. I haven't always been conscious of it. When I was a young kid, I would drum with all my might and rhythm seeking to release the Spirit of God over the worshipers in front of the stage. When I led worship, the same zeal over took me resulting in loud singing and breaking guitar strings. When I led my outreach team, the same zeal overtook me in intercession and in sharing devotions. I want to see the Holy Spirit come in a powerful way, that is the personal and unique way for individuals.

I wonder sometimes, if we miss half of what God is saying or doing because of our view of what He should be saying or doing.
In any case, I want to see the fingerprints of God over every person who calls Jesus 'Lord.' I want to learn from the Catholics, the Protestants, the Baptists, the Charismatics, the Liberals and the Conservatives, because WE are the body of Christ. There is One Spirit and One Lord, and He dwells within us. We owe it to our brothers and sisters to be who God has uniquely called us to be, and our brothers and sisters owe it to us to be who God has called them to be.

Sometimes, I ask the Lord to give me His perspective for people and when I pray that prayer He always answers it. Sometimes, I have seen pictures of big glasses being put over my eyes, and the view of the person changes from what is material and judgmental, to what is unseen and eternal, straight from the heart of God. I can't afford to judge others, because if I do, I might just miss the fingerprints of Christ all over their heart and soul, and therefore miss Him as well.

As I left Africa and came back to a western nation, I remembered the African church leaders I met. I remembered the western missionaries I met, and the friends with whom I ministered with. Put it all on one big canvas and you see Christ Himself just visited Africa. He left His mark: the lame walked, the pain relieved, the tuberculosis removed, the backs straightened, the words of encouragement and life spoken, the hope imparted and the salvation received.