Friday: Today I am flying to JFK, and then traveling by car to Mt. Bethel, PA. The event bringing me to the area is the Metro NY Region Elim Fall Conference, an annual retreat for the pastors and leaders in the greater NY City area who are related to Elim Fellowship. (Elim is my ordaining organization.) We will overnight in Mt. Bethel, then the conference will be held on Saturday. Then we’ll drive back to NYC Saturday evening, I will lodge Saturday overnight at my host’s home, and then he’ll take me to a nearby Elim church for a Sunday noon service. Then to JFK for the return home.
Saturday 2:30 p.m.: The Lord’s grace was strong this morning. I went into it feeling somewhat weak about what I had prepared, but the Lord stepped in, and the impartation was strong. “The Power of an Unfulfilled Promise.” A promise from God is a ticking bomb. The bigger the bomb…
Next: Tomorrow I am speaking at a church in Ozone Park, NY called God’s House of Healing and Restoration. The pastors are here at this event, and the pastor ran the sound for me this morning. So we’ve already met and connected and now are looking forward to sharing in the word tomorrow. This retreat has a couple sessions this afternoon, but I am back in my room to rest, and to prepare for tomorrow (I still haven’t found clarity for tomorrow’s message). After supper here at the retreat center in PA tonight, we will drive back to my host’s home in NYC. Tomorrow’s service at God’s House of Healing and Restoration starts at noon. Then I have a 5 p.m. departure out of JFK.
Saturday: Today I fly to Atlanta, and then make the hour drive to Jackson, GA. This will be my second time to Joshua's Place Church. This weekend came together in an unconventional way. I was scheduled to be with a church in the metro Atlanta area, had bought the plane ticket, and then they cancelled the weekend. So I contacted my friends in Jackson, told them I had a paid ticket for this weekend, and they said, “Come!” So we’re doing it in a last minute arrangement. This will be Sunday morning ministry only.
It’s on my heart to speak from the life of Jacob.
Thanks for leaning into the Spirit with me, and for helping in prayer!
Sunday afternoon: Greetings from the plane, I’m making my way home now from Atlanta after a marvelous morning in the Lord’s house. The Lord put a special grace on the message, both for me and for the congregation. Just wonderful. We’ve all been washed by the word today.
Next: Friday I go to JFK in NYC. Back to you then.
Sunday 6:00 p.m.: Greetings from the Greensboro airport, a place that I don’t want to be right now, smile. My travel is interrupted tonight because of a mechanical, and it’s “iffy” whether I will get home tonight. So I’m along for the ride, and we’ll see what Standby status does for me tonight. Got a prayer to get me home tonight?
Today’s services were graced of the Lord, both the 7:30 a.m. at Mt. Zion and the 11:30 a.m. at Embassy Church. In the latter service, longtime friends Pat & Marie Mahoney made the trip over from the Durham area to connect for the service. This has been a weekend of sweet fellowship, good times in the presence of the Lord, and meaningful impartation. I am grateful for the Lord’s mercy and grace.
Up next: Next Sunday morning I minister in a church in Jackson, GA.
Friday night: Greetings from Greensboro, where I have arrived and am safely placed in my lodging.
This is my second time at an event here called City On a Hill. This year the event is being held at a different church in Greensboro called Embassy Church. Diatra is the hostess of the event, and I have sort of adopted her as an adopted daughter, smile. The event starts Saturday at 9:00 a.m., and my session is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. The event is over around 3:30 p.m. I am planning to speak on following the Holy Spirit in corporate worship. Then I am speaking in two area churches Sunday morning.
Saturday 5:30 p.m.: Today’s event was a delight to attend. I spoke at one of the two general sessions. And there was a session of workshops. The other slots were filled with times of worship and also lunch. The musicians and singers at this event were just amazing. I thought we had just had the best when the next singer would take the mic, and it would be even better. Wow. And the musicians—wow. I know I’m not in Atlanta, but this is Atlanta-caliber musicianship. And heart-felt. The Lord helped me in my session, and I believe the group was edified and equipped.
Next: I will be collected at 7 a.m. for the 7:30 a.m. service at Mt. Zion Baptist Church here in Greensboro. I will have 40 minutes, and expect to be speaking on being a friend of God. Then I will be transported to Embassy Church, and will speak in their 11:30 a.m. service—and am inclined for that service to speak on the taking of the stronghold of Zion.
Saturday 9:00 p.m.: I am lodged at a massive time-share complex, designed for Orlando tourists. My room overlooks the pool, smile. Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa. So if I don’t show up anywhere, ever again, maybe send somebody to come looking for me in Orlando, smile. I will be collected at 10:30 a.m. for the 11:30 service. My airport ride told me this is a tiny church, around 30-35 people, and already I know it’s going to be a blast to be with them. Their second anniversary as a church.
Sunday evening: My day started with an early prayer walk around the complex grounds. Just perfect temps! Then off to the 11:30 a.m. service. They had an extra strong attendance because of the special occasion. Longtime friends Bernie & Joy Clark also found their way to the meeting. We had a sweet time of worship, a good time of celebrating the Lord’s goodness for the two years of the church’s existence, and then the Lord graced me to speak on how He writes a story with our lives. A wonderful celebration! It was followed by a hasty lunch, then off to the airport.
I am now making my way to Dallas. When I send this, it means I’ve arrived at my Dallas hotel. I am coming here to attend the annual leadership conference at Gateway Church. The favor of the Lord has been on this church in the last ten years in a most unusual way, and I have come to taste of that and to place a bulls-eye on my heart, seeking the Lord for something fresh from Him. I’ll be here for the conference Mon/Tues, then returning home Wed morning.
Friday 6:30 p.m.: This afternoon I spoke on an eye covenant. It took nearly twice as long as usual to do it, because of the interpreter. The group tracked well with me, though. I am estimating 400 people were gathered, a good turnout. At the close, we provided opportunity for people to come forward and receive impartational prayer, and many came forward. The ministry was unrushed and precious. The worship team did a great job. Then they launched into some songs of rejoicing, and I left soon after that because of my need to prepare.
Saturday 12:45 pm: Greetings from O’Hare, where I’m checked in and waiting for my 1:40p departure to Atlanta. And then Orlando. I spent last evening in preparation for today’s session, and then was up early this morning, pressing into the Spirit. I felt I had liberty from the Lord to just get up and flow in the moment, without looking to a prepared script. I started with the groaning prayers of the Holy Spirit, Rom. 8:26. Then I showed the 5-minute film, God could have left Job alone. Then we did Isa. 49:20-23, which was our main text for the message. The loss of children, followed by the Lord’s redemption and the gathering of children. Then I used Naomi as an illustration, emphasizing the fact that the full redemption of her story was not realized until 100 years after she had died, and it became clear that she had given birth to the Davidic kingdom. She had lost her children, but now is surrounded by many children. The key verse was Isa. 49:23, “They shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.” Then I told the baseball story. The women thronged the altar afterwards, and the presence of the Lord was strong and real. The message was very non-typical for me, interweaving themes some of which I have not spoken of before. But I sensed the Lord’s grace. And realized I would never have scripted a message like that in my own thoughts. So the Lord could write it as I leaned on Him. It seemed to me that the Lord just wanted me to have a session in which I was off-balance the entire time. I trust His leadership.
Now I am en route to Orlando, to minister in the 2-year anniversary of a very young church called Restauración a las Naciones Church. I will minister with an interpreter. I am sure that when I am with them I will learn the nature of our connection, and how they felt inclined to invite me to their anniversary. I look forward to sharing with this new body of believers for the first time.
Wednesday: Greetings from the road, I’m on my way to Rochester, NY. My host is pastor Phil McNeill of Henrietta, who will collect me at the airport today, and then get me in the morning for tomorrow’s event. The Thursday event at which I’m speaking is an annual event with Elim Fellowship called the Tri-Regional gathering. Elim Fellowship (a fellowship of pastors and churches, of which I am an ordained member) is divided into regions across the USA, and the three regions huddled most closely to Rochester have had a joint annual gathering for many years. This year it is convening at Pastor Phil’s church in Henrietta. The event launches at 10 a.m. on Thurday, and is over by 2:45 p.m. I am the speaker for the day, and have two 45-minute sessions, at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The event draws pastors, church leaders, leaders from the Elim campus in Lima, and is also usually attended by the seniors at Elim Bible Institute & College. I consider it a great honor to be asked to speak to such a great body of leaders. A little over 200 folks are expected.
It’s in my heart to speak on Luke’s two unique parables on prayer, Luke 11 and 18 (I’ve written a book on each parable). Please agree with me for the Lord’s grace to be strongly upon our gathering, and enabling me in power. I am feeling very weak and dependent upon the Lord.
I would also appreciate your praying for my throat. I came back from Russia with a sore throat (there was the shaking of many hands and the hugging of many necks), and now I am fighting to keep the thing at bay. I’m popping Vitamin C and drinking fluids. Today’s trip is the first day in a week of travels, and I’m asking the Lord for this thing to be reversed that I might be unhindered in both fellowship and ministry during this next week.
By the way, here’s my upcoming week:
-Wednesday travel to Rochester
-Thursday ministry in Rochester
-Friday travel to Chicago, afternoon ministry
-Saturday morning ministry in Chicago
-Saturday afternoon fly to Orlando
-Sunday morning in Orlando
-Sunday evening fly to Dallas
-Mon/Tues attend a leadership conference at Gateway Church in Dallas
-Wed morning return home
Thursday 5:30 p.m.: The Lord really helped us today. I was leaning hard, feeling my need of His help in a real way. The response of the leaders to the messages was very sincere, there seemed to be much edification in the ministry of the word. And so much love was expressed — everyone made me feel sooooo embraced. In the words of Tom Brazell, “Welcome home.” I had great joy in reconnecting with so many cherished friends in my Elim family. It was also a blast to connect with a group of 20-somethings who are with Campus Target, as well as a group of around 15-20 Elim seniors. I love to hang with the kids cuz I like to be with people my own age, smile. I think 3 members of our intercessory team were present as well, and I felt the strength of their prayers very much (thanks Syl, Joan, Gloria!). I am now back in my hotel room, and my heart is overflowing with thanks for the privilege of ministering with and to such an amazing group of leaders. The cream of the earth. It’s so humbling to minister the word in the presence of so many men and women who are better than me in every respect. And there’s nothing quite like a worship service with a bunch of Elim people — they’re just ready to GO THERE!
Tomorrow morning I fly to Chicago, and am speaking around 3:00 p.m. at an event called Mujer Victoriosa. It’s a conference primarily for women, and I will be using a Spanish interpreter during my messages. I’m scheduled to speak Thursday at 3:00 pm and Friday at 9:30 a.m.