Archive for July, 2010

…what if?

July 20, 2010 3 comments

I heard prophet Bob Jones say one-time:  “If we can find 12 people who can agree in perfect unity, in prayer and intercession, it could change the world.”

What if…twenty ex-racers moved to The World Race headquarters in Gainesville GA, got jobs and worked, paid their bills and lived honorably, lived in community but moved there solely to fulfill their own calling and purpose in interceding for race staff, current racers, family of racers, orphans, men and women the TWR family is touching all over the world?

What if…?


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religious perils

July 8, 2010 2 comments

Last week while in Romania, we had the most amazing time. Part of our job is to debrief with the individual teams inside a squad. So there they sat. One of my teams: mature, consistently strong, major players and life-givers…now looking and feeling whipped, stuck, hammered, wrecked (in a bad way), out of gas, out of juice, mourning over the loss of a teammate, ready for relief, ready to go home, done, spent and obviously traumatized. Hearing their story confirmed that they had been spiritually abused by so-called leaders who were their contacts in another country. Evidently their tats and piercings have them on a quick slide to hell and the lack of evidence to speak in tongues disqualifies them from the Kingdom. A mindless bombardment of religious devils can shut you down! Ask Isaiah what he thought about the demon-driven Jezebel and why he sprinted for the desert? That kind of witchcraft makes you think you are crazy. I’ve been chewing on these details for about a week. Time to burp up some heartburn.

I was reminded that the things of God are not the problem. People who mishandle the things of God are usually the problem. You do not have to look very far to find men and women who are quick to measure what true spirituality is supposed to look like. Legalistic religion is a broad pasture. You don’t have to go to Africa to find it. Cross the street. I’m pretty sure it’s alive and well in your own neighborhood. Probably even your own church suffers the ill effects. It can come in the denominational or non-denomination flavors. All of it sucks and it is hard on young men and women (old people too) who are in the passionate pursuit of God. Even more difficult when they are trying to submit to and honor leaders who blindly require certain spiritual disciplines as part of the litmus test of what is right and what is wrong for a christian. It can get pretty intense and confusing.

I was on an instant message chat with one of my spiritual daughters early this morning. This kid is special. Not like “challenged” special, but incredible and uniquely special. The girl is questioning the prophetic gifts of the Holy Spirit because, not all that she has received is edifying. I don’t blame her. Again, the problem is not the prophetic or the Holy Spirit. I’ve hung out way too long in prophetic community to blame God for this. There are some nut cases out there saying, “thus saith the Lord”. That’s why we need real spiritual authority around us. We need filters to help us strain off the foamy scum floating on top of the pool. This daughter asked a valid question: “Isn’t it better to just do the logos and nothing else? It’s just too messy out there.” I really felt like the Lord gave me an answer. I didn’t say, “thus saith the Lord”, but I did reply: “People teach some crazy shit out of the Bible! I’m not going to throw away my Bible because of immature teachers and a few loose screws. Likewise, you can’t follow what God has for you and then haphazardly throw away His voice. We need direction now…today!” Of course, we still have the responsibility to monitor what we intake, whether it is our own Bible Study, the latest hot revelation from some “apostolic” teacher or another prophetic word spilling forth from the Body. Just because someone can draw a crowd, write books or build a big church does not mean their revelation is on loan from the Throne Room! It might be better to peek behind the curtain to get a real look at the Wizard of Oz, instead of just standing there drooling on ourselves like the Straw Man.

Over the years, I have had some prophetic words that shook me to my core and I’ve also had some real doozies from well-meaning but misguided saints with “words” only fit for the nearest toilet We can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is ridiculous to even consider the prospects once we have experienced the personal nature of God’s voice.

Back to my people in Romania: As one of thousands who represent spiritual authority, I repented to my team for this abuse. They forgave me (us). Tears and wailing proceeded once the Wind began to blow. A howling Wind that filled the room with the substance of God’s presence. The Lord spoke over this team with a tender vengeance that no one understood in the natural, but our spirits knew how the Lord felt about the situation my team had suffered. Ahhhh….the redemption of the Lord is GOOD! It lowers the mountain and raises the valley! Hallelujah!

There are natural perils in the pursuit of God. I get it. I hate it. But, you gotta keep pushing and choosing Him. Earnestly pursue Him! When you get there, you’ll find that He is speaking!


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July 7, 2010 2 comments

Alana Serna is in her 10th month on THE WORLD RACE.  Patti and I have the privilege of being coaches for her squad!  She’s a heck of a writer and the brutal honesty  and courage is refreshing.  Her latest post is below.  You can check out her blogs at:

I gasped for air like the first breath after being released from a strangle hold. The once dark sky was bright with pure light. Still breathing deeply I looked around me. The last thing I remembered was my hands holding a bottle of bitter lies in my hand instead of my shield and sword of truth. I had been yelling words as equally as bitter as the lies I was consuming. My hands were empty. I glanced around the ground around me to see if my weapons were nearby. As I did, a pair of hands reached out to me. Looking up I found myself gazing into beautifully fierce green eyes. He held my gaze as I took hold of His hands. He helped me to stand on shaking legs that felt so strange and foreign to me. “Beloved, tell Me the Truth.”

I broke and purged before Him. Every bitter lie I drank was suddenly lying before me on the ground. He held pure Love to my lips and I closed my eyes as I drank deeply. Suddenly I was in a strong embrace. All around me voices were lifting me up in love and in prayers. Hands were tenderly pressed against my back, my head, my arms, holding my hands. I realized that I was in the midst of my tribe, holding tightly to one of our leaders. And it was in that moment I realized that God had won that battle… the victory was ours to celebrate.

I don’t know how I can explain what this really means other than to say, “Honestly, you just had to be there.” But I can say this. I realized this past week that it is far better to choose in… to choose to fight for the ones you love, and a very important part of that is to love yourself.  For me, much of my Race experience has been trying to learn how to do just that… love myself.  Prior to the Race I battled with self-esteem, self-image, etc. I wrestled with rejection and fell into the trap of living life on the defense.  Much of this was based out of the war that had been waged on my family and on me even from a very early age. While this war had some major battles, most of the weapons used against us were subtle… things that are used against most families, like lack of communication, misunderstandings, sarcasm, reasoning away or self justification, etc. And when those little things added up it took its toll. Please hear my heart on this. No one was at fault in my family for this…

This past debrief all that I experienced was a sudden revelation of how much my coping mechanisms (solitude, justification of harsh words or actions, drinking, eating, sarcasm, etc.) affected those who love me. By pushing away I gave them the finger… by harsh words or actions I slammed the door… by drinking and eating I slapped them in the face… by sarcasm I lashed out in anger… the thought overwhelmed me. However in that moment I felt I had a Peter moment… being on the water and seeing the waves… but then Jesus speaks and  the focus is brought to where it needs to be… on Him. In that moment of realizing the pain I was causing others I realized the love that was shared… I realized the overwhelming magnitude of that love and felt the strong arms of peace wrap around me. I realized that there is no reason for self preservation or defense. If you fight beside a brother or a sister there is no need to worry about what they will do to you… it is remembering what they will do for you… they will fight for you, love you, serve you, correct you, speak life over you, encourage you, intercede for you… But we all have to make that choice. And it starts with choosing to love yourself… speaking life over yourself… knowing that the person you see in the mirror is favored above all of creation by the One God… the King of Kings and Lord of Lords… Can  you look in the mirror and see beauty? Or do you criticize the person you see? Do you speak with confidence, or do you trip over yourself apologizing for things you don’t really need to? Do you take time for yourself or do you get too caught up in putting other before you so much so you have forgotten how to let yourself be loved? I’m sure you can reason away any of these questions like I have in the past… but I would challenge you to sober up and answer these truthfully. Go through the chapter on love in the Bible and ask, “Do I do this with myself?”…

I challenge you with this because being in such intense community for these past nine months has taught me that you  can only love others as much as you love yourself. I cannot love my teammates a lot if I don’t truly love myself a lot. But when we love ourselves we begin to put that off. We begin to share the gifts God has given us…For a few examples…My teammate Jessica is like that. She walks in a room and you can’t help but feel the joy that God has given her. Or Rebekah… she is a woman of such great confidence in who God has made her as woman, I can’t help but seek the same confidence and truth from my Father. Or Melina, she speaks and you can’t help but listen because the Spirit fills her with truth… DJ and Mike have such deep deep wisdom and insight you can help but want to listen and learn… But if one person is having a bad day on our team, we all feel it. If one of us is struggling we all feel it. So we cannot think that for one moment we are independent of that love. And if we lose sight of that, we deeply hurt those we desire to love. But the beautiful thing about it is that those people who love you, like my squad loves me, will be there for you… and the God who made you so wonderfully complex has always loved you… He loves you enough to put you in a position where He can love you through your family, friends, church, and even so that you can allow Him to love you through the way you choose to love yourself.

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vampires, werewolves & aliens

July 2, 2010 1 comment

Yesterday, while in the  3rd airport of another 29 hour day, Patti and I stopped at one of our (Patti’s) favorite Mes-i-kin food eating spots in the DFW airport.   Nothing like tasting grilled onions, guacamole and greasy tortilla chips again at 32,000 feet.  *brrrp*  I digress…

The place was packed and our waitress was awesome.  Very sharp, astute and quick in proactive thinking about things that needed to be done on the table without the customer really realizing what she was up too.  She was awesome.  But, to look at her, you just knew:  THIS GIRL HAS BEEN HURT…SOMEBODY TOOK SOMETHING THEY DIDN’T HAVE PERMISSION TO TAKE…THIS IS HER BEST-LINE DEFENSE.  IT IS TRIBAL, BUT SHE’S IN DEEP FOR PROTECTION. I guess it all really could be about the art.  That’s fine.  I’m cool with that.  But, in this case I suspect there is another grueling tale.  Another really bad story and this is where she finds her acceptance and her safety.  Honestly, I kinda dig the whole Gothic look, probably much more than I do the Polo dandies scene.   But with our gentle waitress, it seems obvious that something is askew when the dress has completely and absolutely neutered any evidence of her God given gender and/or sexuality.   Kinda  like SNL’s “Pat” gone punk.  Somewhere, somehow, she got the ideal that covert was more more convenient.  So she’s stuck.  Maybe stuck on purpose.  But, stuck none-the-less.  Maybe I’m just wrong and she’s the lead singer for a Metallica cover band, but I doubt it.

There is a great scene in the second of three MATRIX movies, where Neo is talking to the Oracle.  She is explaining how things work with rogue programs running games in the system (matrix):  “Every time you hear stories about vampires, werewolves or aliens, it is the system assimilating something it’s not supposed to be doing.” In other words, it’s a diversionary tactic to keep from exposing some hidden truth.  For me, that explains too much.  We deal with our “rejection” (poorly) in thousands of ways and in the ministry culture where God has me now, it is all too obvious that the perpetual problems of natural and spiritual abuse has been a nasty plot to “steal, kill and destroy” an entire generation of world changers.

Everyone one of us has a wake behind us.  Not just fathers.  Not just mothers.  You too.  All of us.  And what happens at the top, violently affects the norms at the bottom.  Every abuse (and that can even be attitudes and rotten demeanor), every loveless and self-centered reprobate indulgence has the potential for linear destruction well beyond the moment.  Think about this!  Of course we know these principles work with abused individuals, but it also applies to ministries, churches, organizations, etc.  Because you are free to do something doesn’t mean that it is the best expression of your freedom.  What are you responsible for?  What is going on underneath you?  Who pays the cost when you indulge?  What kind of fruit do you expect?  Then pay attention to the seed.


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