The Princeton web definition of transition is as follows:

  • passage: the act of passing from one state or place to the next
  • conversion: an event that results in a transformation
  • a change from one place or state or subject or stage to another
  • cause to convert or undergo a transition; “the company had to transition the old practices to modern technology”
  • a musical passage moving from one key to another
  • make or undergo a transition (from one state or system to another); “The airline transitioned to more fuel-efficient jets”; “The adagio transitioned into an allegro”
  • a passage that connects a topic to one that follows

For a while now, the word ‘transition’ has been sitting in my spirit, and I’ve been asking the Lord to elaborate.  A lot of noise has been made over 2008 being the year of new beginnings.  As I have let this word marinade in my heart, I have constantly been brought back to the Scripture verse 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

 I declare that the New Year is a year of transition, from the old to the new!  Whatever new beginnings have been spoken over our lives, we will not walk into the fullness of it right away.  Thus, we are being called into transition.  The transition period is being spoken of by prophetic voices across the internet – I have deliberately not read them yet, preferring to listen to the Lord myself first. 

 I believe that the Lord had us in transition mode from the beginning of the year of 2008 – the change of government in Barbados early in 2008  might not rub some of the political pundits well, but it can be seen in the light of change.  In one sense, transition was prophesied by the entire country as they rallied behind the now ruling government’s constant call for change.  The ‘wind of change’ blew through several Caribbean countries, with several changing governments during the different election seasons within the region.

 Transition is the process of going from one place or state to another, as above. It is a process, not an event; it takes time and effort.  The New Year speaks to the process of walking out prophetic destiny on every level – individual and corporate.

 Be warned that this season is not going to be an easy one – almost all change is difficult.  For some the pressure started in 2008, for others it has delayed, but will come in 2009.  Take heart that God knows exactly where you are, and what you are going through. It is a time of pruning, of refocusing. As my wife said during our prayer time this morning, it is a time where old things have to be stripped away to make way for the new.

 In the Fellowship of the Rings (the first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy), the wise wizard Gandalf had to face his fear of the “deep dark of Moria” and the evil that was there.  He was forced to confront the demon Balrog to protect the others, and seemed to fall to his death while protecting them.  It was painful for the others – especially the hobbits – to lose such a great friend.  The loss of Gandalf also forced the others to grow as well. They had to mature quickly when their leader fell.

However, it was revealed in the beginning of the second installment (The Two Towers) that, having faced and defeated his enemy, Gandalf went through a transformation and came back stronger, and with more power.

 The same transformation is available to all of us.  I implore us all to take what the Lord is saying to heart: allow this painful process to shape us and allow the transition to have its full work in us, so that, like Gandalf, we will come out with greater power and walking in the destiny that we have embedded within us.  We all have our particular ‘enemy’ to overcome, and ultimately have to defeat the Enemy himself – Satan – with God’s help.

 “This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”- Isaiah 43:16, 18-19


It’s Christmas Eve…. and I turned away a beggar….

It’s Christmas Eve… the day before the penultimate day of giving and sharing – but I have a confession to make:  I turned away a beggar…

I’ve been over it and over it in my mind, should I have done that? Was that the ‘Christian’ thing to do? Should I spend more time asking God (ok, be honest – should I start) asking God for his compassion?  Let me give you the story…

A couple weeks ago this guy came knocking on our house.  He said that he’s a mental out-patient, and that he needed $5 to get to the Psychriatric Hospital for tests.  (He’ll probably take two buses – one to get there and another on the trip back.)  I gave him the money and thought nothing of it.  A week later, he was back – asking for $5 to tide him over till he got his pension money.  Again, I gave it over without any problem.  Once more, a couple weeks later, he was back again.  I told him that I couldn’t afford to give him anything, but I relented and scrounged around to find something.  By this time, I must admit, my Christian joy of giving was wearing thin…  I even heard him say that if he came back again I didn’t have to give him anything…

Today, he was back, bright and early, asking if I could spare something for Christmas!  I must admit, I lost it.  I told him, “Sorry, I can’t help you this time.”  He was pressing, until I got angry and told him, “Look, I don’t want to hear anymore. Just leave!”

I mean, I know that’s not what Jesus would have done.  But isn’t there a difference between being generous and being used?  Ok, so maybe he doesn’t have anything (or so he claims, to be honest I don’t know whether to believe all of what he says) and I broke my own rule to not give money but give in kind (food, etc.)  I’m still constrained by the fact that I need to love my neighbour as I love myself.  

What would you have done?  Am I  bad person? Should I have continued to let him get these $5 and $4.5o’s?  They add up after a while…. Talk to me, people!!!!

Divine Connections!

Below is a slightly edited version of a prophetic essay I was led to write recently.  With people’s natural tendency to try to put things into comfortable ‘boxes’, I thought it was time to question what makes a genuine community – was it location, people of like minds, or what?  Read and comment…

Divine Connections (2008.12.20)

“…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7b)

There is much debate about the shape of the church, and many labels – “emergent”, “missional” and “apostolic” being the latest key phrases these days. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with man trying to understand and come to grips with what is happening in the Spirit, but these labels sometimes have the effect of garrisoning – people ‘camp out’ in one of these ‘streams’ of Christianity and are effectively shutting themselves off from the whole move of God. It has the effect of splitting the church into these different, seemingly opposing groups, who take pot shots at one another, splitting hairs over doctrinal differences. But how does God see his church?

To the question asked of Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus said, “’You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your mind, and with all your strength,’ and the second command is like the first, ‘you should love your neighbour as yourself.’” (Matt 22:36, para.)

I have gotten the distinct impression that we as believers think too much about the Church’s overall shape, whereas the Lord is looking at something completely different. “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.” Man is looking at structure, and organization, and hierarchy, rigidity or fluidity … but God is looking at something else in relation to his church.

The Lord dropped the words ‘divine connection’ into my spirit tonight as I talked about the Kingdom expansion going on within one of Barbados’ parishes with a friend, who has asked me to be a resource in her evangelistic efforts.  I have been feeling an increasing pull towards helping with what is going on there, making myself available to minister deliverance and prophecy, but also to teach and to help to baptize those seriously considering making a life change towards Christ. Carol has been seeking for a team of people to partner with to extend the Kingdom where she lives, and I have felt prophetically that the people are coming, and that God is doing something within her area.

I felt that we had a divine connection between us, and that God had linked us together for this time and this season to see his will accomplished. The Scripture I referenced when speaking to her was Eccl. 4:10-12, and verse 12 says, ‘Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves, and a three fold cord is not easily broken.’

As we think about community, the temptation to do it exactly as was done in times past is strong: move house and live in a physical location and embody the Church in a physical location. If things are not done in this way, we may feel that we are missing the mark and missing our opportunity. However, I feel that this is more of the same – the ‘how’ being more important than the ‘what’. I feel that instead the Lord is emphasizing the divine connections between us: our relationships. He puts the lonely together in families, the Scripture says, and he binds people’s hearts and lives together for his purposes. The Lord has always been placing emphasis on the relationship. Jesus, for example, prayed that the believers would be one ‘as I and the Father are one’, and that ‘the world would know that [we] are his disciples because of our love for one another.’

Relationship is the divine connection that is important. Whether separated by physical time and space, the bond of love and commitment far outweighs the ‘shape’ or ‘form’ of community we adopt. Let us be free to explore different forms of community, different shapes for our local expression of the Body of Christ, but without losing the power of relationship. Let us explore the divine connections formed and forming in our lives. Let us see what God is weaving together from these different strings to ultimately display the majestic tapestry of his divine purpose! Let us also be free from fear of ‘missing it’ because the shape is not what we expect; God’s will is for us to have faith in the fact that HE is building his church, and obey his leadings concerning our part in it.

Have anyone felt drawn to another for divine purposes – and knew it was God’s doing? 

OMG – Penguin Friskiness!

Ok, I just HAVE to put this on my blog!  Thanks Tam for letting me see this, and Brad for posting the original video….

Frisky Penguins from Brad Ruggles on Vimeo

Divine Encounters!

I’ve been spending a lot of time reproducing content from other people’s posts or websites – and it has sparked some great conversations (even off topic 😉 @ Annie and Love… ) 😆 but today I thought I’d bring something along the spirit of this blog – another testimony of the hand of God on my life!   This is the introduction text (somewhat modified) from my latest newsletter.

1 Chron 12:2 “… they were armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows or to sling stones right handed or left handed; they were kinsmen of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin…”

While being prayed for recently by a new friend, I was prophetically referred to as being ‘of the Tribe of Benjamin’; he prayed that I be able to ‘wield the sword with both hands, and throw the spear with either hand…’   I resonated with that prayer – as he prayed he had laid hands on my head and I could feel a course of the current of God’s tangible presence flow through me. I started speaking in tongues, and he did as well – as we enjoyed being wrapped in the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. 

This experience led me to seek the Scriptures to find the basis for his prophetic comment – hence the quote above.  The verse before it gives it context:

These were the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he was banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish (they were among the warriors who helped him in battle; 2 they were armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows or to sling stones right-handed or left-handed; they were kinsmen of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin)..  (1 Chron 12:1,2)

When I read it again, both of my palms got warm immediately (a tangible sign for me of the Lord’s anointing on my life.)  I resonated with it for a while, and then I decided to do some investigation. This quote shows me a couple things: 
  • The quote is in the context of war – the verse that resonates with me describes warriors who joined David in battle.
  • King Saul was a Benjamite
  • They could use either hand to wield a slingshot or to shoot arrows accurately.

I was asking the Lord what did the Scripture mean for me, and what did he want to tell me?  I felt that the fact that men from the tribe of Benjamin were described as warriors was significant – given my current line of Christian service.  I felt that the fact that they were also described as being able to wield their weapons of choice with either hand spoke to the dual aspects of my call – prophetic declaration and deliverance ministry.  I felt also that their weapons were significant as well – slingshots and bows launch long range attacks – and accuracy and skill of use were also emphasized.  

I believe God is speaking to me about my call with this prophetic declaration over my life.  My goal is to seek the Lord for greater accuracy in the delivery of my prophetic utterances and greater skill and accuracy in discerning and casting out the demonic – I just want more of Jesus! He will teach me all things!  

I pray also that the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord will meet each of you reading this with divine encounters of your own!  May he speak into your life to challenge, convict, counsel or console you in the name of Jesus! I release each one reading this into divine encounter – and may your lives never be the same again!

Come, share!  What divine encounters have you experienced lately????

Understanding The Secret Place (Psalm 91)

I’m reading this article from Chip Brogden named  “Christ: The Secret Place of the Most High.”   As he says:

In the mind of the Spirit everything points us to Christ – there is no compartmentalization, there is no “thing” that has significance by itself. Everything is connected and pointing us to a deeper reality, and the reality we are being constantly brought around to is the Person of Jesus Christ. He is the theme, the subject, the point of everything written, everything illustrated, everything taught, everything recorded in the Bible. 

Most people (Ok, I’ll admit – I did)  see the ‘Secret Place of the Most High’ as a special place you can get in God where you are protected from harm and danger.  However, as the article goes on, Chip speaks of this ‘secret place’ as not a ‘place’ or ‘state in God’, but as a PERSON: Christ himself…

And so, whenever we come across something in Scripture like “The Secret Place of the Most High God”, we who are spiritual – who have the Holy Spirit as our Teacher – should be trained enough by the Holy Spirit to be able to recognize immediately: that is Christ. There He is. I see yet another dimension of Him here. 

He then asks a poignant question. If Christ IS the ‘secret place’ and based on Psalm 91 we are encouraged that to dwell there, then how do we dwell there, if ‘there’ is the Person of Christ?

Let me ask, how can you make the Lord your habitation, your dwelling place? How is that possible? This can only be interpreted spiritually, it is absolutely impossible, and hardly conceivable, if we think of it naturally. How can the Lord be my dwelling place? How can I live in the Lord? Well, it’s like Nicodemus saying, “How can a man enter into his mother’s womb and be born again?” 

How do we make the Lord our habitation? How can He become a place for us to dwell in? Well, it was a mystery for them in the Old Testament. They could go to the Temple, and they knew the priest could enter into the Holy of Holies, and perhaps that would be the closest anyone could get to dwelling, abiding, in the Lord, or at least, being in the presence of the Lord. But that was only for a few priests, it was not available to everyone. 

An interesting parallel has been made between Psalm 91 and John 15.  Jesus says ‘Abide in me’ … Psalm 91 encourages that ‘he who dwells in the secret place …  shall abide … ‘  Interesting! Never saw this before – thanks Chip!

Then we come to those wonderful words of Jesus in John 15, and we begin to understand. It is quite beyond human explanation. It remains a mystery, a locked door, until the Lord Jesus Himself comes to us and reveals the mystery and unlocks the door. He says, “Abide in Me, and I will abide in you” (Jn. 15:4). It doesn’t take a very brilliant person to make the connection between Psalm 91 and John 15. The language is the same. Read John 15, then go back and read Psalm 91 again. All those words – abide, dwell, live – they all mean the same thing. “He who dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” goes right together with “Abide in Me, and I will abide in you.” 

And so we come to the wonderful, awesome, powerful conclusion:

Yes, this Secret Place where we abide is Christ. It is not some thing or some place outside of Christ, but a place in Christ Himself. HE IS THE SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH GOD. He is that place that has been prepared for us. 

Let us dig deeper than the surface to see the truth!  The ‘secret place’ is not a place for physical protection alone, but listen to the final paragraph from this deep revelation of Scripture:

Now when we read Psalm 91 it takes on an even greater significance. If you hold on to Psalm 91 for physical protection I don’t mean to discourage you or anyone else from doing so; but I do encourage you to dig deeper and get hold of it for something far better. It is a spiritual refuge, a spiritual covering, a place where evil cannot touch you, because you are hidden in Christ. A place where the body may become weak and may even be destroyed, beheaded like John the Baptist, stoned like Stephen, crucified like Peter – but the spirit cannot be touched. The communion and fellowship and presence of Christ Himself keeps you in His own Victory, a Victory that survives everything else, that goes beyond your own mortality, beyond your years here on earth, and goes with you up and away and apart from the earthy and the physical and the temporal – on into eternity. 

Missional vs. Attractional vs. House Church Models all have the SAME flaw « From Eden to Zion

Should I call this my Eden 2  Zion series?   I’m reading another post from this website  Missional vs. Attractional vs. House Church Models all have the SAME flaw today, and it has to do with the flaw in focus – all of these “forms” of the church are trying to build the church:

 The missional model believes you build the church through being “incarnational” which often means small communities living life with non churched people, enfolding them into community as they move toward a belief in the Gospel.  Attractional churches set up excellent programs usually centered around a worship service that draws the non churched in and slowly works on building a belief as they move visitors through a defined assimilation process.  House churches critique both models believing you build the church by gathering believers together in a shared common life.

The premise of this article is that “All three models miss the point.”  Jeromy points out

 “We are never commanded to build the church.  We are never commanded to plant a church.  We are never encouraged to develop church building models of any kind.  We don’t build the church.”

The  true ‘mission’ of the church, as stated by the article, is:

Jesus has already weighed in on this debate.  Listen to two thing he said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18), and “Go and make disciples….” (Matthew 28:19).

Making disciples should be the goal, which would aid int the organic reproduction of the church.  As he suggests:

Thousands of churches emerged through Paul’s ministry but he didn’t build them, they emerged as Paul proclaimed the gospel, made disciples and released the 5-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11).  [Read this for one example of this in the city of Ephesus]

 He goes on to cite an example of a friend of his who has seen this principle in action.  How did the churches in his example form?  He suggests, ” through the training of disciples NOT through the planting or building of churches.”

He links to other articles on his blog, which has a lot of posts on this topic, as his ministry uses this paradigm for church reproduction. 

How do you think this would work in practice, if the Church stopped building itself and tried focusing on making disciples? (And I note that the wording is very deliberate here – disciples, not just converts.)