Trumpets, Alarms, and Sacred Assemblies

October 2015 Newsletter

“‘Now, therefore’, says the Lord, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with
weeping, and with mourning. So rend your heart, and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him…Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly…”
-Joel 2:12-15

Sometimes we grow weary of hearingFullSizeRender the sound of alarm. All the horrible news, bad reports, and secularization of our culture weigh us down, to the point where we don’t want to hear it anymore. We would rather ignore the warning signs and live as if everything were normal. Over time, some Christians get cynical. They’ve already “been there, done that”, so they relieve themselves from the responsibility of rending their hearts or gathering in prayer meetings. Others get scared. They don’t like the bad news because they’re afraid of persecution, financial lack, or hardship. Others just want to be comfortable. All this “doom and gloom” news is very inconvenient and has the potential to ruin their 401k plan

Whatever the reason, we must fight against the urge to shut our ears to the alarms around us. As Allen Hood, one of the senior leaders on the IHOPKC mission’s base, so eloquently put it, “the nature of an alarm is to wake us up. It’s supposed to be abrasive”. No one likes alarms. The feelings we get when they go off in the morning are annoyance and distress. We would rather stay warm and comfortable in bed. But if we didn’t respond to the alarm, we’d be late for work. As we all know, spiritual alarms have been going off in America for some time now. The legalization of homosexual marriage, the nuclear deal with Iran, and the general corruption in society are clear signs that we need an awakening. The question is, how do we respond? Joel 2 gives the answer. When a nation is in crises, God calls His people to gather together in solemn assemblies. He calls them to humble themselves, repent of compromise, and pray together for their region. Once again, the IHOPKC mission’s base has called a three day solemn assembly this month to cry out for our city and our nation. And once again Loretta & I must fight against the temptation to be comfortable. Yes, we have done this many times. But does that relieve us from the necessity of gathering together again? Does that relieve us from the call to repent of compromise and rend our hearts before the Lord? Of course not. We must stir our souls again and cry out for an awaking in our hearts and an awaking in America. I know as Christians continue to gather together and pray, God is answering.

Besides the solemn assembly this month, Loretta & I are adjusting to our new schedules quite well. By God’s grace, I am continuing to do well in school and am enjoying learning new things about physical therapy and the health professions field. Loretta loves being a part-time nanny. She is already a pro at feeding the baby, prepping meals, and house cleaning. I’m pretty sure her new employers think she’s Mary Poppins. We’re both excited to spend some extra time in the prayer room during the upcoming 3-day assembly. The leadership team at IHOPKC has agreed to shut down almost all other departments so that staff can participate in the solemn assembly as much as possible. I believe it will be a time of refreshing and awakening. As we continue to hear the alarms, let’s not get weary. God has a solution for the people who humbles themselves and pray.

Contending for Righteousness in a Babylon Culture

September 2015 Newsletter

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common
salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” – Jude 3

Hatred is not always evil. In order to love FullSizeRendersomething we have to hate something. For example, if we say we love truth, we must hate lying. If we say we love righteousness we must hate sin. Unfortunately our culture is straying more and more away from this. It’s calling evil good, and good evil. There seem to be no more absolutes for our culture. As a result, people who hate sin are often labeled as “haters”. Yet as Christians we have to contend for the faith that was given to the saints in the beginning. In order to truly love people we have to hate sin and speak the truth boldly. We need boldness to contend for righteousness.

This is especially true on college campuses and it’s what we’ve been praying for in the Prayer Room lately. Every Wednesday morning from 10am-Noon we gather together and pray for Christians on college campuses to stand as lights in the darkness. We pray for God to raise up men & women like Daniel in a Babylonian education system. Daniel has been such a source of inspiration lately. He was a man who was faithful to God while living in a secular society. He maintained a life of prayer, fasting, and holiness while being one of the top governmental leaders of his day. I believe the Lord is raising up a company of people like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who have an excellent spirit and change the atmosphere wherever they go. These people will not bow to the idols of the culture and will declare who the one, true God really is.

One of the reasons this is so dear to us is because I’m now a college student! That’s right, I’m going back to school. After much prayer, I’ve decided to pursue an associates degree in Physical Therapy at a Community College in the area. I’m still on full-time staff at IHOPKC and will continue to be so while I pursue the degree. For some of you, this may come as a surprise but it’s not for Loretta & I. Ever since I saw my Dad go through his first physical therapy session back in 2007, I thought it would be a cool profession to go into. The goal is to be both an Intercessory Missionary and a Physical Therapist Assistant. Since the Physical Therapy job would allow me to work part-time, I can do both! I would work 25 hours per week in Physical Therapy and another 25 hours per week as an Intercessory Missionary. Of course, we will continue to rely on the financial support from our amazing partners. We are (and plan to always be) intercessory missionaries, and as such, we need financial support and prayer support to sustain our ministry. Another big change is also coming for Loretta on September 14th. After 2 years of serving in the Business Office at IHOPKC, she will be transitioning into a new role as a Nanny! She will continue to be on Prayer Room staff at IHOPKC but will also be looking after a 4-month old named “Ford” 25 hours every week. She’s super excited. She’s been wanting to grow in her “Momma skills” and I know she will do great!

As we move forward with these changes, our main prayer has been for God to make us Daniels in a Babylonian culture. May we be those who bring the kingdom and truth of Jesus into every sphere of society.

The Biblical Nobility of Work


Some people think of work as a necessary evil. They’d prefer not to do it but the bills have to be payed. It’s just something that needs to be done. It might surprise us if we took a good, long look at what the Bible has to say about the subject. Not only does the Bible command us to work (2 Thess 3:12), it actually tells us work is one of the primary reasons we exist. Work is not evil. God created it and it is good.

The first time we see someone working in the Bible is Genesis 1, right in the beginning. When God created light & darkness it was called work. When He created trees, birds, and beasts it was called work. And when He created man in His own image it was called work. The first worker was God. On the seventh day, He rested and admired what He had created (Genesis 2:2).

The next time we see someone working in the Bible is Adam. God put Adam in the garden of Eden to “cultivate and keep it”. Adam was a gardener. I doubt he thought of it as a “necessary evil.” Adam was probably the most happy human worker the world has ever known besides Jesus. The reason he got so much joy from it was because he was partnering with God in building, creating, and maintaining. Of course, Adam is the only person in history who knows what it’s like to work without the effects of sin. It must have been glorious.

Time would fail for us to write all the times the Bible shows people working. It’s probably on every page of the Bible. From Adam to Noah, from Abraham to Moses, and from David to the prophets and beyond. Everyone has worked and everyone will continue to work because it’s a God given mandate for humanity.

The question is who are we working for? Are we working in partnership with our Creator or are we working aimlessly for ourselves? If we’re working for ourselves we can be assured that we won’t receive a reward from God. Jesus said that if we do our work to be seen by men, we won’t have a reward from our Father in heaven (Matt 6:1). But if we work unto our Father who sees in secret, He Himself will reward us openly (Matt 6:4). That’s probably why the Bible tells us to do everything unto the glory of God. God wants us to have a reward for everything we do. But only the labor done unto Him will be rewarded (Col 3:23-24).

Paul the Apostle gave some of the Thessalonians a shocking new perspective when he wrote his two letters to them. Some of the Thessalonians were becoming idle and lazy because of an incorrect response they had to the end-times message. Their logic might have been something like this: “If the Day of Lord is soon approaching, what’s the point of working? Shouldn’t we be storing up food, ammunition, fasting, and reading the Bible day & night?” Paul corrected their misconception by saying,

“…Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands…that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.”

He went on in his second letter,

“But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you…For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. But as for you brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. (2 Thess 3:6-13).”

When’s the last time we heard a sermon on this passage?! The message of the end-times is a message to get oil in our lamps by slowing down and connecting to Jesus. It’s a call to watch and pray. It’s a call to sever ourself from anything that hinders love. But it is NOT a call to stop working. In fact, it’s a call to work for Jesus all the more. In light of the times we are living in, we should seek to do everything for the glory of God. The fact is, the Bible shows that work is one of the most noble tasks humanity has been given. Their is so much dignity and reward in it if we do it unto God.

Of course, the Bible also calls us to rest:

“Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease! (Proverbs 23:4).”

But it’s a rest that glorifies God, not a rest of indulging our flesh and dulling our spirits. That type of “resting” isn’t even refreshing.

The question we should start asking ourselves is, what is work from a biblical perspective? And second, what is rest from a biblical perspective? Working is a lot more than earning a pay check and going to a job 40 hours a week. It’s a God given mandate for humanity. And rest is more than sleep, vacation, or recreation. It’s a peace that we enter into as we come into agreement with God.

The Earth’s Transition

“…You will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another…and because lawlessness will be about, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” -Matt 24:9-12

The highest court in America made a IMG_0355grievous decision last month. Homosexuality has been institutionalized and legalized. This is one of the most important moral decisions since Roe vs Wade in 1973, and once again we have decided to boldly defy God’s Word. As praying believers, Loretta & I feel the pain of this decision along with the rest of the Church. America will never be the same. Yet at the same time, we know this will be used to refine the Church. The grey zone is being eliminated. We must now decide to either stand for righteousness and suffer the consequences or to compromise. Lukewarmness cannot be played with anymore. In this new environment it will lead to a quick, spiritual death.

As we all know, the ripple effect from the court decision is everywhere. Facebook is saturated with articles about believers being penalized for refusing to acknowledge gay marriage. Professing believers are defending the supreme’s court decision as right. One thing is clear. We cannot afford to be fuzzy on this issue. We must clearly understand what the Bible has to say about homosexuality. It is not a preference. It is sin (Lev 18:22, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Cor 6:9, Jude 7). Last month, our house group went through as many Scriptures as we could find that clearly display what God thinks about homosexuality. I think it’s important that every Christian knows some of these Scriptures so that they can boldly stand for the truth. Of course, we must deliver our message of truth with mercy. These are real people with real problems. We don’t want to over simplify their struggles or gloss over their pain. These people need counseling and discipleship just like heterosexuals who struggle with immorality do. But we must stand as bold witnesses. We must demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ by leading people out of deception.

As a whole, I think the earth is in transition. The spiritual atmosphere in the Nations has changed. Humanity is growing more bold about their sin. The Church is experiencing more persecution. Both the light and the darkness are increasing. As Jesus said, the wheat & the tares are growing together (Matt 13:24-30). On a smaller scale, the IHOPKC mission’s base is in transition. Lots of people who have been in the same roles are shifting positions. Many who have been here for years are venturing out to build other houses of prayer. Many departments are being downsized as we consider what is most important. And on an even smaller scale, Loretta & I ourselves are in transition. I say this hesitatingly, because I feel like we are in transition every other Month! But really, this season feels different. I am considering stepping off Laura Hackett’s worship team for a season to invest myself more in the student ministries department. If I do decide on this, I will be pastoring teenagers. It would be an exciting, but also challenging position! We are so privileged to be on full-time staff at the house of prayer here in Kansas City. As the earth goes through transition, we get to stand in the prayer room day by day, petitioning the One who is Eternal. We pray with confidence, knowing that He is sovereign. Though the nations rage and the seasons change, He is in control. And we, as the Church, have the great privilege of partnering with Him to change history through our prayers and actions. Thank you Jesus!

In the Presence of Jesus

June 2015 Newsletter

Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given me; for you loved Me before the foundation img126of the world.’’ -John 17:24

My Dad went home to be with Jesus on May 2. He was an extraordinary father, a magnificent husband, and a loyal friend. Most of all, he loved Jesus well. Loretta & I were able to talk with him during his last moments. We sang songs over him, quoted scriptures, and told him how much we love him before he went home. One of his favorite worships songs was “I love your Presence”. He’s now in God’s presence with no limitations and no pain. He finished his race well and is now part of that cloud of witnesses cheering us on. We miss him so much but we know we’ll see him again soon.

Obviously, it’s not easy letting someone we love so much go. But in essence, we’re not really letting him go. He’s still alive. In fact, he’s more alive than he has ever been. That was Jesus’ promise: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26)” My family and I believe it. My dad is just as conscious and alive as we are now expect for the fact that he doesn’t have a physical body. But he is still the same person. He vividly remembers his 70 year life in this age. Who knows what he’s up to now? Maybe he’s talked to Elijah, Moses, or David. Maybe he’s had a few conversations with Jesus Himself. Maybe he’s in a heavenly pottery shop doing the same things he loved to do here on earth. We know one thing. He’s not bored. He waits for the restoration of all things just like we do. But he’s on the other side now. He joined all the saints of old who eagerly wait to return with Jesus to the earth at the sound of the last trumpet. When that last trumpet sounds my Dad will get his physical body back. He will eat, work, and touch just like he used to. But it will be in a resurrected body that will never grow old! Eternity has become real to my family. This short 70, 80, 90 year age is just an internship. It’s a short speck of time compared with the billions of years we’ll live with Jesus. Yet how often we lose sight of eternity! We place so much emphasis on this short time frame and forgot that our real assignment is in the next age. My Dad always redirected people’s attention to the age to come. He always said stuff like, “this life is just a vapor”, “this is all fading away”. But now it’s more real. By the grace of God, I want to live for that age to come like the men and women of faith who’ve gone before me. We’re waiting for a city, Who’s builder and maker is God.

Our hearts are healing. Loretta, my Mom, and I were so encouraged by the body of Christ after my Dad’s passing. There was probably over 300 people who came to his memorial service, most of whom where believers. I know my Dad was smiling during the service. We sang worship songs, shared about who he was to us, and even gave a salvation call for unbelievers. The service was followed by military honors and a huge meal that our Church family helped provide. Not to mention the huge rainbow right after the service. About a week after the service our family spread his ashes over the bluffs of Lake Michigan. We couldn’t help but think of how cool it will be when those ashes come back together and his resurrected body forms. The first place he’ll be when he gets his body back is Port Washington. Though it has been difficult to not see him anymore we want everyone to rest assured that this family is filled with hope. To live is Christ and to die is gain.