Looking at the “orphan spirit”

•February 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 5.09.32 PM

Rev. Ellen Campbell of The Gathering Place of Aurora

teaching on the favour of God and how the orphan spirit is one of the main blockages.


John Kilpatrick teaching on the orphan spirit

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 5.00.21 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 5.00.30 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 5.00.37 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 5.00.43 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 5.00.50 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 5.00.58 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 5.01.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 5.01.11 PM

Advertisements

A current Testimony

•February 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Life is a process of learning and growing. The testimony that I have to share with you is one that is still in the making, and it’s a joy to share my experience to inspire and edify those around me.

A couple of months ago, God began taking me on a path of spiritual maturity, and has been teaching me a lot about wisdom – what it means, and how it plays a critical part in the life of every believer.

I was given a book by a friend of mine that is a study and commentary on the book of James, and it’s rightly titled “Be Mature”. As I began reading, I learned that in the book of James, the Jewish Christian of the times faced some of the very things that we go through today. They were going through difficult trials that life can throw, and were also facing the temptation to sin. It caused much hardship and caused division among the early church. The main source of the problems was a failure to live out what they had professed to believe: that the power of Christ enables us to “grow up” into the people of God that we were always made to be.

As some of you may know who have heard me share my story, I have had to work hard to overcome quite a few obstacles in my life, some external, and some self-inflicted as I dealt (and still sometimes deal) with a fight or flight mentality. Each and every trial I’ve faced has taught me some valuable lessons and given me wisdom to keep and apply in the future. My prayer for the longest time has been: God, grant me the skillful Godly wisdom and understanding to not waste opportunities to mature.

God definitely heard my prayers, and I was definitely granted another opportunity to mature.

The past few months for me have been a roller coaster ride that has taken me through some highs and some lows. I’ve had a shifting and a shaking in my circle of friends. Though the shaking was rough and close to home, I have learned (and still am learning) valuable lessons on what it means to fear God alone and trust Him, but also how to love unconditionally with proper boundaries.

In the book of proverbs we’re presented with a valuable piece of wisdom that touches on this very topic:

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a]

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.

This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

When the going gets tough all around, especially when it pertains to those around you, what do you do? If you’re anything like me, you probably try to fix things. I’m a very compassionate heart. I love friendships, and will often go out of my way to maintain them for as long as possible, and I love the opportunity to speak life into people whenever I am granted the opportunity. The mistake that I make is that sometimes I take it too far and sometimes I find myself trying to do what only the Holy Spirit can do, bring conviction.

I went wrong when I overstepped my bounds and tried to take matters into my own hands (all with a good intent). I found myself becoming hurt in the process, and in my hurt I acted out in motives that were driven by resentment. I ended up lying in order to search out truth, manipulating, gossiping, and accusing. All the more I did it, all the more I found myself the victim of conflict and confusion. It was a vicious cycle that seemed to have no end, and I found myself in a state of torment trying to figure out why I had lost the peace I once had in my life.

The bible is filled with scriptures that declare the greatness of God, how big, how grand, and how powerful He is, and we’re called to fear him. The Fear of God doesn’t mean that we run around in fear of a big angry bearded man in the sky, but it means that we understand how great He is, and revere Him in that regard. When we come to that place, we can harvest the rewards that it truly offers, and when we embrace the love that He gives, we can trust Him to move on our behalf and keep us in perfect peace. It is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom

It’s only very recently that I was able to look at myself and come to terms with the fact that this was where I fell short. I failed trusting this great and mighty God. He calls us to cast our cares upon Him…to trust Him…and to lean not on our own understanding. The struggles we face in life only become battles that are won when we fight them in a place of prayer – surrendering to God, and giving Him the room to move on our behalf; “Let go, and let God.”

I was at a friends house a couple days ago where I was worshipping and praying and I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit whisper to my heart: “Do you trust me?”. He showed me a vision of a cracked vase that was on display. I saw the vase crack, and I saw my heart exposed. It was tattered and torn, ripped along the seams. I saw two large sewing needles coming along and sewing up the sides, mending the broken places. I then saw my heart being placed in a glass box that was raised up on a pedestal.

What I felt that the Lord was saying to me in this was that it was time for me drop the facade of brokenness. It was time to make amends and seek Him as my source of healing and deliverance. And that is where I stand today. I am on the road to healing, and I am excited to see what the future will hold as God delivers me from old ways of thinking, instills true wisdom, and continues to mature me.

If I can leave you with one thing I have learned, it’s this: When you ask God for something, He will not give it to you right now or the way that you want it. Sometimes he will take a period of time and walk with you through various testings and trials in oder to make sure that when he gives it to you that you are prepared to do something with it. For me, this was and is wisdom and maturity.

Should a Christian get tattoos

•January 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment

At a point not to long ago, I entered what seemed to be a never ending debate on the issue of tattoos. Christians and non-beleivers alike both argue for and against tattoos for various different reasons. The main argument that I heard for tattoos as being acceptable by the Christian community is this: contextualize the very verse that condemns tattoos. See for yourself that if they aren’t acceptable, then neither is a majority of the food we eat.

I stumbled upon this video:

Jefferson Bethke shares his opinion about tattoos and how he came to the conviction that tattoos are okay. After doing my own study, I’ve come to a conclusion that is quite the counter, and came to the attention of what I believe to be some big loopholes in what seems to be a solid argument.

1. The argument about food: Mark 7:19 – For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”). Jesus declared all foods clean, but never once did he declare tattoos clean. They remain just as unclean as they were when they began, and the principal of not tattooing yourself remains untouched.

2. Worship of God in pagan ways: Deuteronomy 12 : 12 “These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things.

Some people view tattoos as an acceptable way to worship God, or to remind oneself of God’s promises, or to mark themselves for His Glory. As Jefferson clearly pointed out, the history of tattooing began in pagan worship for the dead, so what makes us so daring to think that we can worship God in a clearly pagan-originated way? 

 

Revelation for the coming hour

•February 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I was reading Psalm 60 tonight, as the LORD put upon my heart the urgency of the restored favor in this hour. 

 

Verse 3 reads,

“You have shown Your people hard things;You have made us drink the wine of confusion.” 

 

Meditating on this, I was brought into Isaiah 51:17-22 which reads, “

 

Awake, awake!

Stand up, O Jerusalem,

You who have drunk at the hand of the Lord

The cup of His fury;

You have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling,

And drained it out.

There is no one to guide her

Among all the sons she has brought forth;

Nor is there any who takes her by the hand

Among all the sons she has brought up.

 These two things have come to you;

Who will be sorry for you?—Desolation and destruction,

famine and sword—By whom will I comfort you?

Your sons have fainted,They lie at the head of all the streets,

Like an antelope in a net;

They are full of the fury of the Lord,

The rebuke of your God.

Therefore please hear this, you afflicted,

And drunk but not with wine.

Thus says your Lord,

The Lord and your God,

Who pleads the cause of His people:

“See, I have taken out of your hand

The cup of trembling, The dregs of the cup of My fury;

You shall no longer drink it.”

 

That last verse spoke to my heart about salvation and deliverance, but also prophetically that we are entering into a season of new life, rebirth, and restoration. There is another wave coming, a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, much like as prophecied in Joel/Acts:

 

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,

That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

Your young men shall see visions,

Your old men shall dream dreams.

 And on My menservants and on My maidservants

I will pour out My Spirit in those days;

And they shall prophesy.

I will show wonders in heaven above

And signs in the earth beneath:

Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

The sun shall be turned into darkness,

And the moon into blood,

Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

 And it shall come to passThat whoever calls on the name of the Lord

Shall be saved.”

 

As I read on in Psalm 60, verse 4-5, it read:

 

You have given a banner to those who fear You,That it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah

That Your beloved may be delivered

 

For me personally, this was not only a direct confirmation of the prophetic ministry of the flags that the LORD has called me into, but it also confirmed the cry of this hour for salvation and deliverance – Before the great and awesome day of the LORD. God delights when those who are “cast sheep” (sheep that are upside down and cannot flip over, and die from a collapse of the lungs) call out to God, and He, our shepherd (Psalm 23) will come to bring us right side up, and get our lives back in order, before sin and death have their way. As we call out to him, in reverence and delight of His goodness for us, we are given new life; the breath of life fills our lungs. He gives us a banner….that it may be displayed as a testimony….because of the truth…so that His bride, you and I, may partake of deliverance….which is the “children’s bread”. (Matt. 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30)

 

Spiritually speaking, what I have been taught about flags and banners is that in the natural we see cloth on a stick, but yet in the spiritual a flag is a weapon fending against powers of darkness, and calling forth the glory, power, and goodness of the LORD. There is a battle raging, and a banner, the standard raised against the enemy is a weapon of warfare and intercession. When a flag, veil, or ribbon is prophetically in movement with the worship and the moving of the spirit, demons flee, healing is loosed, and strongholds are broken. The Glory of God then comes in ushered, and the Holy Spirit moves unhindered.

 

As we are given these “banners”, they are displayed because of the truth (Jesus -the way, truth, life, and our shepphard)…so that the beloved of God may be delivered. As there is a cry in this hour for salvation, deliverance, and restoration….The Lord gave me the following word:

 

Beloved, verily I say unto you, “rally the troops and call upon I, the LORD that thou may find salvation and restoration at my right hand. The works of the enemy are nigh at hand, but once again I have torn the veil which was placed between my kingdom realm of glory and the works of your hands (the natural). Call unto me, and in greater meatsure shall I pour out my spirit bearing revelatory knowledge of my coming plans for this hour; plans of good and not harm, to prosper my sevants and my handmaidens in all that is done according to my will and ways. Rise up into the HIGH PLACES which I have called you to as the harvest begins to come forth in plenty”, Says the LORD.

All things work together for those who love Him!

•December 16, 2011 • 1 Comment

The last little while I’ve been torn between some huge decisions which left me flat on my face and not knowing what to do. When we left off last, I shared that I wasn’t doing well in school. The situation has improved, but only in a small fashion. My grades are still low, and it’s left me with no option other than switching schools if I want to do more than simply rescue my credits and graduate with a 50.

In an earlier part of the year, the LORD showed me a dream and confirmed it many times. In the dreams I saw a revival breaking out at Rosedale. I saw friends and students and even the principals getting saved, healed, delivered and coming to know the LORD. I saw our auditorium being used on Saturdays for worship meetings, it was great, and the power of the Lord was flowing among the student body and teachers. Pastors and leaders from other churches often joined in our meetings.

I didn’t really understand how it was all possible. The most we had gotten was a small little Christian gathering with 1 or 2 other students. At that point, we only knew one teacher in the school who was a Christian. He was part of the science department. He supported our idea to start a club, and helped us push it through to the administration. It’s been great to have a meeting once a week to just remind ourselves that we’re not alone in our walks, especially in a school environment that seems to be so lost and needing God so badly.

Yesterday evening I was at family friends house and we were just fellowshipping and talking about God, prophecy, and dreams. I didn’t think much of it until today, but there is a lot of significance in dreams, and often if God lays a dream on your heart, it’s his will. His word assures us that if we delight ourselves in Him that we will be given the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). It’s something that I needed to learn and still am learning. God will open doors that no man can shut, and close doors that no man can open for His will, and His glory.

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. (Rev 3:8)

I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. (Isaiah 22:22)

Today, things came into the light. I finished an exam and was talking to one of our band teachers in the hallway. I was sharing with him what was going on, and that I had plans to enter bible college. He openly shared with me that he’s also a Christian, and a spirit-filled believer in a church operating in Kingdom power. He shared with me how he’s been wanting to start a gospel choir at our school for quite some time now. He also shared with me that there are three other teachers in the school who are also saved and strong believers in the LORD. One of them goes to a revival church, one is a pastor, and one a worship leader.

My mind was completely blown by this. I could see how God had been preparing the way for something great to happen at the school. I felt as if I didn’t want to leave the school. The teacher shared a word of wisdom with me. He said, “You’re a kings kid, you have to do what it takes to always walk in excellence for Him”. It was encouraging to me, because at that moment I had serious regret over even wanting to transfer. I feel a little bit of comfort knowing that I can switch schools and He will carry me though, and I’m reminded that His word will not return void, so if God has plans for Rosedale, He will, without a doubt bring me back there, and bring restoration and new life.

At the very beginning, when I prayed about switching schools, He said to me, “Stay where I have planted you!” I wasn’t even sure why or how it was going to be possible, and in my doubt I let the end of the year slip right through the cracks in anticipation for this school transfer. I’m in a place now where I’m still learning the hard way that it takes times for us to catch up to the Holy Spirit. So I’m taking time to lay this all before the LORD, and ask “What would you like me to do? Where would you like me to go?” I’m also going to be fasting and praying a great length in January as a means of asking the LORD for some direction of things in my life.

As it stands right now, I’m carrying a burden for Rosedale, and I’m excited because I know that God has such great things in store for that school, and I can feel that without a doubt as things shift and change, that the pieces will come together for His glory. I have mixed emotions about leaving, but His great spirit gives me peace and comfort in the inner man. It’s another step of my journey, and who know’s what I’ll learn along my travels! God’s equipping me for greater things, and so I walk the new places holding the hand that holds the world.

Further in, further out

•November 27, 2011 • 1 Comment

I’ve always been told growing up to Run to God during the hard times, and to take shelter under his wings. As much as it is true, and we are transformed from glory to glory, It’s left me facing a reality and a challenge. This challenge has also brought forth much revelation to me in my walk with God.

Humanity is much slower than God, and it takes time to catch up to the Holy Spirit. I feel that God is calling me into greater things than those I’ve settled for, and I’m slowly realizing that pressing deeper into him doesn’t mean hiding from all my problems, putting on a smile, and worshipping like there’s no tomorrow. That isn’t saying that breakthrough doesn’t lie in praise and worship – indeed it does. What God’s been revealing to me is that the further you press into Him, the further out you’re going to have to go.

Let me share a little about what I am going through…

Around April last year, there were two major emergencies in the family. It overwhelmed me and drained me to no end. It was but by the grace of God that I was able to bear a smile. From the outside, everything looked okay, but the reality was that I was 17, and left to care to the best of my abilities for two aging parents while being in school and working part time. I ended up skipping numerous days, weeks, and eventually months of school, and eventually gave up at the end of the year. I couldn’t do it. Because I was so hidden about what I was facing, I lacked the encouragement and support I needed to be able to walk through it with boldness.

As it stands this year, some more big things have come up, and everything around me is shaking. The mountains which stood in front of me last year are still there, and as ever present as they were when I backed down. Why? I simply never faced them, and I have yet to do so. I pursued God as if I were hiding in a closet and not coming out until they disappeared, and I still do.

It’s left me in a place of struggling with going to school again. It’s left me in a place where I am wondering what’s going on in my life and where I am going wrong, and why something as “insignificant” as fear is holding me back from doing all God’s called me to do, and be all he’s called me to be – His masterpiece and workmanship, wholly pleasing to God in Christ Jesus.

A close friend sat me down when we went out for coffee recently, and she said words which completely shook my perception of things. She told me this:

“Fear, is real.

Depression, shame, and condemnation – are all real.

Hurt, is real.

These things are called strongholds for a reason, because once they get a foothold, they can drag you down and tear you apart if you don’t rise up and come against them.”

When things around me begin to shake, I always use it as an opportunity to press into God – which is what we’re called to do, right? But what about when we don’t see change? What about when the breakthrough always happens at meetings or services, but when we leave the church, we walk back into the same dump of a situation we left?

I’m beginning to realize that these things are indeed mountains in my life, and that God calls me to conquer them in His name. I’m realizing that it’s not an easy task, and it’s going to take far more than constant surrender. What’s been the major revelation to me is that I’ve been doing things all wrong. I’ve been pursuing Him endlessly, but not taking the healing, strength and boldness he’s given me in such times outside the four walls of the church. Ultimately, It’s beginning to catch up with me.

I’m also finding that sometimes our human nature being as weak and fearful as it is can easily manipulate refreshing and refilling of the Holy Spirit for an escape from our situations in the same way one would cut, drink, or take drugs, but it’s not in any way, shape, or form what God wants us to do and it’s left me in a state or deep repentance, and crying out for truth in all areas.

I need your prayers, and your support. Because although I may not be very vocal about what’s going on – there’s a lot that God’s light needs to shine on. I’ve come this far, and I’m not backing down, but I need a little nudge to take a step or two! It’s Christ in me, the HOPE of Glory!

Be Blessed!

JJ

UPDATE (Nov 30, 2011): I started school again today, and it was great. Beforehand, I strongly felt God calling me to ask to be put on a tracking sheet. I wasn’t sure why, but I did out of obedience. It’s definately an open door from God because it’s my “last chance” to prove myself accountable. My teachers are a little more easy-going and understanding because I am on it, and it’s a motivator for me to go. Here’s looking to GREATER things, in Jesus’ name!

 

What is real “religion”?

•July 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)

This is a scripture that is small but mighty, and it’s packed to the rim, needing to be unpacked. I feel that there’s not enough understanding in the world about what being a Christian really entails. This goes also for those inside the church (body — NOT building). The title of “Christian” is more than simply a declaration of a faith or belief in Jesus Christ. It means more than someone who goes to church on Sunday, gets their praise on, and goes “back into the world” for 6 days of the week amongst everything from parties to “living it up in the good life”. Sadly, as much as I speak this….the world around says completely the opposite.

Take a quick look around you, or even watch the news for a few minutes. It doesn’t take very much to see just how broken and corrupt the world around us is. Even the very political systems which hold our society together are on the verge of collapse and one wrong move could spark an uprising. But still, Jesus is Lord, and He’s good to me. He’ll fix the world…right? WRONG! why? because it leave us with a religion that looks very similar to this:

Jesus is more than a four leafed clover or a lucky charm to get you through your day, and He’s much more than a God who is bountiful in blessings of every size and shape. I’m not discrediting that God could help someone find their keys or score a touchdown, but there’s more to it that what you and I get from Him, and out of Him.

I’d like to make it known that I don’t adhere to “religion” which to me means an idle belief and/or salvation through works. I believe in relationship which in thought, word and deed looks like this:

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a]31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”(Mark 12:30-31)

To extend further, I will add that real love looks like this:

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor 13:4-6)

I think that this kind of love really carries with it a message about going out into the world and being the hands and feet of Jesus. We are called to cast out demons, heal the sick, and bind up the broken hearted simply because God has done this to us. Christianity is a one-on-one relationship with Jesus, but there’s more too it than that. Paul, in his many journeys in acts was a living testimony of what it means to be a true Christian, to go out and share the word. Not only preach Jesus, but do the things He did and greater. Jesus didn’t walk in the world to make a spectacle out of himself, but came to show God’s heart. The signs, wonders, and miracles followed him.

There’s a bit of stereotype and misunderstanding about Christianity. It’s an understanding that it’s all about rules and regulations, and that we follow them out of fear of hell. It’s completely false. As Christians, we worship a God who created everything, and is completely Holy. Therefore I think He deserves our best. James 1:27 (above) tells us not to be polluted by the things of this world.What good is it if we’re standing in the pulpit or playing on a worship team singing about how good God is when we’re smoking up in an alleyway or cussing and stealing with friends? There’s more to add to that list, but it’s all hypocrisy in some way, and bound to make people scratch their heads, get the wrong message, and maybe even run out the door. It’s not appealing.

When we’re completely dedicated to a Holy God, such as ours, our actions should reflect it. We’ve come out of the world, and are commissioned with a mission. We should be so self sacrificed that we’d give up our lives for someone, or better yet, make a change in the world.

Take a look at your life and ask how you’ve been a “good person” lately. Have you given even 5 cents to those in need, gave someone cold a blanket, fed the hungry, looked after orphans and widows? These are all qualities of love, the love which we are called to share as true Christians simply because Christ loved us first. People don’t like Christianity because it doesn’t do anything for the world except give boasting rights to a truth that isn’t even seen. It’s full of hypocrites and all just some talk of a “higher power” with rules and regulations with no good reasoning.

Jesus was apointed head of the church, but we are his “hands and feet”. We have work to do, and we’re not doing it.

If we’re going to “talk the talk” as  Christians,  we must be ready to “walk the walk”. Christianity is a lifestyle. So as we do great things, we’ll have a testimony to share. As we walk in the spirit and keep ourselves pure, our testimony will be that much greater. When it boils down to it….just love! Actions reflect belief, and in that, we may be the only bible some person will ever read.

Peace!