Dec 6, 2015
I have been in personal revival since about the middle of Oct. It happened this way. At the end of September I was forced by lack of sales to shut my wood manufacturing business down. I had to sell tools, and clean out the shop and move the motor home i was living in, which i had parked in front of the shop. In the process of selling my tools I met Henry Hakkinen who graciously offered my a site on his property for my motor home. This property is in Stave Falls about 20 minutes North of Mission. It was a very providential move. At the shop the trains roared by every 15 minutes nite and day. Here at the Hakkinens the only sounds are the roosters crowing and occasionally the yapping of the coyotes. Henry and his wife Marg pioneered this property, clearing it from the wilderness, and from the very beginning they dedicated it to the Lord. It is holy ground and the tranquility flows here like a river. Furthermore the Hakkinens have a wood fired Finnish sauna which we use several times a week. It is so relaxing and refreshing and of perhaps most importantly.. cleansing. Shortly after moving here about the fifth of Oct i felt the need to begin teaching my son David about revival. David is a dedicated Christian with a definite call upon his life but he has had no exposure to revival or for that matter to the charismatic/Pentecostal movement as have I. I was saved at the age of 21, in 1973 through the ministry of the Pentecostal church in Smithers under the leadership of Bob Basher. I began my bible school training the following September and my pastoral work in 1976 at the Italian Pentecostal church in Burnaby. The early 70s were the afterglow years of the Pentecostal revivals of the Fiftys and Sixtys and I was exposed to some wonderful experiences and some very gifted men and women of God. Revival was still the hope and thrill of every church and Christian and we would have annual revival meetings with itinerant revivalist/evangelists. We still sang the revival hymns and choruses and in bible college we studied the great revivals of the past, the Methodist revival, the great awakenings under Jonathon Edwards and Charles Finney and the Welsh and Azusa Street revivals. I wanted to share this knowledge and experience with my son as I have a faith and hope that he one day will be a revivalist himself.
And so I began to send him and later my daughter Shiloh emails sharing with them all that i could remember about revival and of course it being a long time ago that i experienced it I had forgotten plenty. In my bible school days I had become enamored with Charles Finney. Of all the revivalists he was the most articulate about revival. His Lectures on Revival is essentially a detailed manual on how ( in his words ) to get up a revival. Perhaps most powerfully Finney believed that a mere mortal such as himself could indeed ” get up a revival” with the leading and strength of the Holy Spirit of course. He didn’t believe that a man could ignite a revival without God but neither did He believe that God could or would ignite a revival with a man. He believed ( in his words ) that God uses means and that a revival is not in any sense a miracle but rather the rational and appropriate use of the means God has provided. And so in my desire to educate my son I soon realized my own need to return to the fountain and read Finney again. Providence again stepped in . A friend of Henry’s Leo Baker wanted to meet me in regard to a potential cabinet making enterprise. In fact he came over to the Hakkinens with the express purpose of telling me that he wanted to help me with my cabinet making business. I found this rather amusing inasmuch as I was virtually destitute and certainly had no cabinet making business. On a side note the cabinet making business is in the process of becoming a reality though it is the Lords, not mine. Strange and wonderful are the ways of the Lord . As it turned out, Leo was a lay pastor and missionary and had a reasonably well stocked Christian library. His first ” help” to me was loaning me the book on Finney, called Finney Lives On, an introduction to Finney and a condensed version of the Lectures on Revival. I devoured it immediately and my concern soon began to shift from educating my son to getting myself right with God for l had become quite careless and complacent in my walk with God. I was deliberately engaging in sin, and I was not fervent in any of the christian disciplines. I was back slidden As i read Finney lives On, I allowed Finney to speak to me and in the process became quite convicted, and began to confess my sin and repent and then began the process of making amends. My little ” hacienda in the wilderness” became a revival center for one. Finney is quite clear and exacting about the importance of making amends. The process of repentance is not finished until one has exhausted all reasonable efforts at making amends and i had many to make and there are still a few to go. I had to write letters to Christian leaders who i had slandered. Ouch. It is so hard and humbling to do this but it is absolutely necessary to obtain the pleasure of God and the fullness of the Spirit in one’s life. In regards to slander Finney is clear that the issue is not about whether what you said about someone else was true, but rather was it edifying. Did you in fact have either the need or the right to say it. I had to confess my hypocrisy to family members and christian brothers. And I have to confess it to you my reader for I am putting myself forward as a leader of revival and one of the prices is complete honesty and transparency. Finney is also clear than anything that misleads, even silence, is sin. I cannot allow you to be deceived into thinking that i have been a faithful servant of the lord all these many years or that in myself in any way that i am worthy to lead revival.
And so here I am in my Hacienda in the wilderness, writing this diary on a cold, rainy dreary day in December but my heart is filled with joy and hope. I am moving forward in my own personal revival, devouring book after book and spending hour upon hour in prayer, worship and intercession.
I have been suffering from arthritis my right hip for some time and in the last few months the deterioration of the joint has become exponential. Every week was becoming worse and the disability more pronounced. I am on the list for a new hip in fact, the operation to take place sometime in March or April. Last Friday i experienced a healing of my hip at Larry’s service in Aldergrove. I know neither the name of the congregation or Larry’s last name. Leo takes me these services and if not for Leo’s encouragement i would not have gone. Nevertheless I went to the service with a strong commitment to sing under the anointing and to expect to receive something from the Lord. Normally after long periods of immobility, such as sitting during a long service, ,my hip becomes quite uncomfortable and painful. I noticed that even after hours of sitting that my hip was fine. I got up and danced in the spirit, just to see if i had been healed and my hip felt wonderful, and near the close of the service i testified that i had been healed. After the long trip home, my hip became painful again, and yesterday working in the shop i experienced some pain as well , but far less than before. I conclude that i have received a partial healing and am greatly encouraged to continue believing for a complete healing. Even now sitting at the computer it is feeling much better than before, all glory to God.
I am preparing to lead revival in every way that I can. I am memorizing all the scriptures that i feel are particularly relevant to revival preaching and am memorizing all the old hymns which i feel are most suited for revival. As well I am reading everything i can either about revival directly or about the victorious Christian life. I picked up about eight books at the MCC thrift shop last week, and every one of the them was very helpful even books that i thought were not about revival at all. I am in much prayer and intercession for revival and perhaps most importantly I pressing in to Jesus. The most salient common denominator in all the revivalists was their intense devotional life. They all would spend many hours each day in prayer, worship, intercession and the study of the scriptures. In the past, I have wanted to do this but have never been able to discipline myself to do so. I am beginning to understand now that the process is first confession, repentance, and amends and then devotion. If we are still in our sin God will not draw us into His presence or grant us light from His word. I fasted yesterday and again today. It was not really a choice. I simply woke up in the morning realizing that I was supposed to fast. I worked in the shop for a couple of hours but the Lord would not let me continue. I returned to the hacienda to pray intercede and read. Leo lent me the book on Intercessory prayer by Dutch Sheets and I read much of it yesterday and immediately put what I was learning into intercessory prayer for my family, friends and the coming revival. I prayed that God would impregnate me with revival, and that as it gestated that i would begin to truly travail… give birth to revival, in prayer. Impregnation has much to do with vision. I prayed that He would impregnate me with a new vision for my family as well, one of great unity and reciprocal love and as a result I prayed more specifically, with more focus and more confidence.
I read several chapters of Watchman Nee’s book ( again from Leo’s library) Ye Search the Scriptures. It was an illustration in the book which I found very compelling and seminal. Nee is teaching that it is important to be very careful and precise in our handling of the scripture. To illustrate this he contrasts the ” law of sin and the law of death” from Romans 8. He writes, ” If we are careless , we may take these two laws as being identical. In fact, however they are totally different. Sin is related to uncleanness whereas death is related to disability. The good which i would I do not is ” the law of death”. and the evil which i would not practice is ” the law of sin””. As i meditated on this I realized that I had formerly not been able to pray with any power or consistency because of the law of death. I had not in fact been set free by the law of the spirit of life which sets us free from both the law of sin and death. The word law in these verses has the sense of a natural force such as gravity. The law of gravity compels objects to be drawn toward the center of the earth. In the same way the law of sin compels people to sin and the law of death prevents them from being able to do the good they want to. Revival then is the process of the Law of the Spirit of Life, setting us free from the law of sin and death and we receive the Law of the Spirit of Life , through Christ Jesus, through confession of sin and repentance and the professing of Jesus as Lord and the consecrating of ourselves to his Lordship.
As i have been preparing for revival i have concerned myself much with the hindrances to revival and my sense is now that nothing prevents revival so powerfully as the law of death. Though millions of Christians around the world long for revival they cannot be revived themselves and they cannot ignite revival around them because .. the good they would, they do not. All the good things they so long to do, passionate love for the brethren, intercessory prayer, relentless study, intense personal devotion, witnessing, testifying , disciplined giving and uninhibited full court press worship. All the elements of revival they simply cannot do on a continual persistent basis. From time to time, under emotional impetus they wring out desperate attempts at these disciplines but without the sufficient force or commitment to make lasting changes either in themselves or in those around them. This can only take place as we are set free by the Law of the Spirit of Life without which we will always be pulled back to the base things and ways of the sinful nature.
I believe that when i am ready and fully prepared that the Lord will open the door to begin meetings.
Dec 9, 2015
Since my last report I have worked earnestly on this website and you will note two new blogs and a couple of new pages. I am thrilled with the progress but there is much much more to do. I am quite the newby at this but each day I am learning a new skill or understanding. There is not much more that I can do at the present and I believe that the Lord would have me stay put and finish the writing that He has put on my heart. This is an indication to me that this season will soon pass and that if I don’t get it done now, I may not have the opportunity again for quite a while. I booked my first speaking engagement today for Jan 2 at a mens meeting. I am just thrilled and looking forward to it with eager expectation.
I feel I should report a battle lost which happened about 9 days ago. I was invited to a small church to hear a certain speaker, a friend of my host. I went in the heat of my passion for revival, but not fully clothed in Christ. Toward the end of the sermon the speaker said a few things which caught my revival radar and so without further adieu i contradicted him from my pew and did so rather rudely and aggressively ( as only Jack Minor can do) I left the church immediately as I realized how completely out-of-order my behavior was. I tried not to think about the event too much that day, but soon realized that apologies were required and the next day emailed the pastor of the church, the speaker and my host to apologize for my outburst. As I debriefed the event I came to the conclusion that it was a very timely and necessary discipline from the Lord . The Lord had obviously allowed me to fall flat on my face, but in His kindness it was before a tiny handful of people, and I learned a great deal from the experience.
I realized that this battle for revival is not a sprint but a lifelong marathon and that I will face this same temptation and same struggle probably thousands of times, and i need to consider how I will deal with it in Christ. Most of all I must be careful to choose the right time and place to debate, and the right attitude of humility in which to do so.
I realized from this great failure, that i desperately need the wisdom of Jesus, not only in public situations but also and perhaps even more so in my discussions one on one. I love the celtic hymn, Be thou my vision. The second verse is very relevant
Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true word I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord, Thou my Great Father and I thy true son, Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Jesus is made to us wisdom. He, Himself is our wisdom and I am learning the wisdom of being ” ever with Him” and as our wisdom, He is also our true word. Intensity and passion are my great strengths but they are a deplorable and dangerous weakness unless one is also constantly clothed in Christ. To lead revival requires tremendous authority, and not only the authority of the word or truth or of personal devotion but also the authority that flows from a consistent, Christ honoring life. By my impetuous rudeness I had put at risk the authority that I need to gain in order to accomplish the dream of revival. By faith, it will never happen again. Like Joshua at Ai, by my deplorable defeat, I have learned a great lesson.
Dec 17, 2015
I have been faithfully working at memorizing both scripture and hymns. I consider myself a gifted singer ( some people have said as much and I didn’t have to pay them hardly anything ). Actually I love to sing and am a fairly good singer, but I have never sanctified this gift or dedicated myself to minister through song. I felt convicted regarding this for a few weeks and as result I have sung for the Friday Nite service in Aldergrove for the past two services and have received some strong confirmation. I believe the Lord is telling me that this gift will open doors and that I must be very responsible and committed to using this gift. It is a talent that I have buried for some time. Time to invest. As a result I have been working harder at memorizing and practice. I sing mainly the old revival hymns and as I walk in the spirit of revival I am realizing how packed they are with the wisdom and the power of God. As an actor ( didn’t I tell you that I am actor ,) to me the most important aspect in any kind of performance, whether reciting a speech or singing a song is to tell the story. I am finding a new lease in the spirit to sing these hymns in a new and fresh way so that the powerful story they contain becomes vivid and exciting once again. At least I am finding it vivid and exciting. I have decided to incorporate several hymns into my revival preaching and am planning to do so at my first meeting on Jan 2 to a mens breakfast group.
I am a huge believer in men singing together. I love men’s choirs and I love songs like the battle hymn of the republic which are just meant for men. I sing a version of it that was found in the writers memoirs. It is the hard-hitting, no pulled punches, original, very unlike the watered down versions found in our hymn books. It is a version that men will love, i think.
I have been reading Brad Jersak’s book, Can You Hear Me which is about learning to hear God’s voice. To me this represents the second step in the walk into holiness, though the author certainly doesn’t mention holiness anywhere in the book. I am getting a lot out of this read , I think it is very relevant to the issue of revival, in both positive and negative ways. Positively it has already been a great help to my prayer life and especially in regard to intercessory prayer. Negatively I have a nagging suspicion that an over emphasis on prophecy ( which this book also deals with ) is one of the hindrances that we need to throw away. The good is often the greatest enemy of the best and the church has gone so long without revival that she has learned how to function without revival. It has learned how to survive but not thrive and sometimes we have to put aside the survival mechanisms , good as they are, in order to thrive. I am not at all sure about this, it’s on the back burner percolating. Comments?
Monday Dec 28
Most of the Christmas flurry is over. like most i ate too much, especially sweets, and kept a few late nights which i have to recover from. I am well pleased to report that my experience of revival has continued through the season, little diminished. I had a couple of really sweet experiences where i was so blessed in the lord. Each year I cherish taking in the performance of Handel’s Messiah. It is my one Christmas tradition that i consider non negotiable and for some reason, perhaps because of revival, Christmas came and went and I didn’t even think about it. That is until the evening of the 26 when i joined with the Hakkinen family for their Christmas dinner. After dinner we had an impromptu performance by the boys on piano and guitar and their father on slide trombone. It was great. It nourished my soul and filled up that place that is normally reserved for Handel’s Messiah. The Lord is so sweet and faithful. I attended church at Wildwood chapel on Sunday. A very cute little A frame chapel located in the wilderness not far from where i live. I know the pastor there and several of the congregants so i felt at home. The sermon which was on God’s commas was very encouraging. When we think that we have encountered a period in our life, we find that God has merely placed a comma and there is more, much more to come. I was especially blessed when we sang the Christmas carol written by Charles Wesley , Come thou long-expected Jesus. I never tire of Charles Wesleys songs. I am continuing to memorize hymns in preparation for Revival preaching and as well have finished memorizing Hebrews ch 12. Am speaking to a men’s group on Jan 2 and am planning to sing several hymns interspersed with speaking. Last night i downloaded the Welsh Revival Hymn ” Here is love, vast as an ocean”. It is a powerful hymn. It is called the love hymn of the Welsh revival. This hymn will become a core hymn in my repertoire. This is the second verse of this beautiful hymn.
2. On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.
I started writing an allegory about revival last week. I am finding it difficult to finish, perhaps it is a spiritual battle. i need to pray thru on this. It is quite a long allegory and will be published in at least three sections. Lord give me the grace to hang in there
A lovely little aspect of my experience of revival is sharing the sauna with my host Henry. He has a wood fired sauna built on a trailer and at least twice a week and often more we fire her up and enjoy the intense heat together. It is invariably a great time of communion as we discuss matters of faith and revival and prayer and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Often we are joined by his wife and she shares her insights and wisdom as well, both challenging me and encouraging in my pursuit of revival, keeping my feet to the fire, as it were . I so appreciate them and their love and the goodness of the Lord in bringing us together.
Jan 3, 2016
On Sat morning I shared the testimony of my personal revival with a small mens breakfast group in Matsqui village. As meetings go it couldn’t get much smaller , and still qualify as a meeting, counting myself we were six, but it was a delightful beginning with a great group of men. It wasn’t what i had hoped for or expected but still it was a rich and rewarding experience for me, and I trust for the men as well. I had really wanted to sing, but we were in the corner of what became a very crowed restaurant so singing was out. And I had wanted to lecture, but the men all wanted to talk so lecturing was out, and so I was cast back upon my group facilitation skills, and had to weave my testimony into the discussion.
The day before, Jan 1, i had spent the whole day in prayer and Bible reading, something I can’t remember ever doing before. During this time i did some listening prayer with the Lord. I went to my happy place in prayer, the bank of a river under the shade of large poplar trees. The Lord met me there and said come with me and led me away from the river into the high alpine, a place i well remember from when I had hiked in the Rainbow Range mountains of Tweedsmere Park. The Lord and I sat down on a large rock beside a rivulet, too small to be considered even a brook. It gurgled as it fell from tiny pool to pool, among the purple heather and other alpine flowers. He pointed it out to me, and His message was plain. Revival begins here, high on the lonely mountain in the little rivulets of our individual lives. And that meeting with those five lovely men was one of those rivulets, certainly not to be despised for its lowliness. Without these rivilets there would be no great rivers,sweeping away to the sea.
Something one of the men shared caught my attention. He said that he had often prayed for Jesus to reveal Himself to him. He would close his eyes and pray and pray and pray and would hope and believe that when he opened his eyes he would see a revelation of Jesus One day, when doing this, he opened his eyes and saw a bird. Just an ordinary bird, but this time he realized there is nothing ordinary about a bird. This time he saw the glory of creation, the wonder of God’s creativeness. the beauty of the Lord. He in fact saw a revelation of Jesus. And this is very much what revival is all about.. It is having our eyes opened to what God had already done,and is already doing. Revival is all around us. Revival is just about the cross, but realizing there is nothing JUST about the cross. The love Hymn of the Welsh revival is much about realizing the immensity and glory of Christs work on the cross. Revival is not just conviction upon sinners of their need for salvation, it is also conviction upon saints to see the cross again with spirit anointed eyes. The second verse of that glorious hymn, Here is love vast as the ocean, attempts to capture the height, depth and breadth of the cross. it goes as follows
On the mount of crucifixion , fountains opened deep and wide thru the floodgates of God’s mercy, flowed a vast and gracious tide Love and mercy like great rivers, poured incessant from above and heaven’s peace and perfect justice, kissed a guilty world in love.
may the Lord grant us, eyes to see, and ears that hear, and a heart that feels, and responds to the voice of the Spirit.
Jan 3 Criticism
Recently I was in a conversation in which my interlocutor expressed a keen scepticism of the reality of my experience of revival. They were very scornful of my sincerity and wisdom and my worthiness to be engaged in any form of spiritual leadership let alone revival. There were some extremely harsh accusations which left me reeling and somewhat dazed. I have decided to journal this experience for a couple of reasons. First of all this person is probably not the only one who feels this way and I should address this issue. Secondly this is a very important person in my life and I need to respond to this. And thirdly as I considered this I realized that this is likely a very common experience of those who experience revival.
My first observation is that the way I was treated is the way I have treated others myself in the past. While being railed against I felt like protesting ( though I didn’t ) that my critic had looked past quite a number of positive characteristics in order to zero in on what they considered highly offensive issues. In retrospect I must confess that I have done exactly that same thing. I have confessed this before but this is probably a good time to do so in more detail. I have criticized Christian leaders who are well admired and loved by many people. I have looked past their significant virtues to hammer them harshly for what I considered to be major faults. I had a huge beam in my own eye as I zeroed in on the slivers in their eyes. Much worse I slandered these persons by making these accusations to others and thereby tainted either their opinion of the person I was slandering or more likely of myself. I have since confessed to the persons I have slandered and have asked for and received their forgiveness, but my experience of being in their shoes, this past week, has made me realize just how damaging and painful it is to be criticized and judged in this manner and why it is such a serious sin against God and man. May I never, ever, be guilty of such an offense again.
My second observation is that I have not made significant or sufficient amends to this person for past offenses, so they are not entirely to blame for thinking that I have not significantly changed as a result of being revived. And revival itself is a relatively fast experience. I became revived in less than a week, and it is not surprising if someone is skeptical that I have changed behaviors in a few weeks and months that I have struggled with for forty years. Moreover my circumstances, being very difficult at the moment, are not allowing me to do many things which I would gladly do if I had the means. I have some evidence to refute the accusations but not enough for their satisfaction at the moment. I can do little in matters of finance but wait upon the Lord for His blessing.
I must confess that I was tempted, for a bit, to simply write the person off, important as they are to me, as an unsafe person, whose contempt and criticism I just don’t need. But as I talked it over with the Lord, He encouraged me to be patient, and continue to seek to win them with His love, and wisdom. Recently I was in a listening prayer session and the lord gave me the image of eggs. I was seated in this image, holding a basket of eggs of all different shapes, sizes and colors. The sense I received was that I was incubating these eggs and that I needed to be diligent in this matter in order to see these eggs birth and become living realities. Part of that diligence was for me to be still and careful, so as not to disturb or break or in any way harm these fragile beginnings. Some of these eggs represent relationships, such as with this person, who at the moment holds me in not a little contempt. I am believing that with a little time, and a lot of the grace of God, this egg will hatch into a whole new relationship of mutual love and respect.
One of this persons concerns was that I have not in the past submitted to other spiritual authority and am not at the present connected with any church or authority to which I am submitted and therefore have no authority or warrant to give leadership to revival or to any other spiritual endeavor for that matter. There is a lot of truth to this criticism and and I take it very seriously, and have a few things I want to say in regard to it.
First of all, prior to my being revived, I was hypocritical, and not genuinely submitted to God, His law, or the church, though I thought I was. In some small credit to me, I was always In various ways, connected within the church, being credentialed for a time, pastoring for a time, and almost always being part of a small group or a men’s fellowship group. And these connections were extremely good for me, even life saving, and God never once left me alone. Now, being revived, and in true submission to God and His law, I am longing to be in submission to the body of Christ, but at somewhat of a loss to know where and how. I have a renewed passion for the church and a new love and kindness for the denominations. I know really clearly what I don’t want to be part of, and there are pastor’s and churches out there who know really clearly that they don’t want me to be a part of their leadership team.I have forty years of baggage, and had come to a complete stop in terms of ministry. When one has lost all of his momentum in the ministry, getting things rolling again is a great challenge. Trust is entirely based on track record. So in response to this very valid criticism all I can say is that I am waiting upon the Lord for His guidance in this matter, and am looking for a good fit, where I can serve, and be served, loved and be held accountable. But in the meantime, I am going to continue serving thru this website and speaking and sharing my testimony anywhere I am invited. I suppose in some ways this website itself is my accountability for I have chosen to be completely transparent to you my reader, and I certainly welcome your comments, prayers, and advice.
Finally my critic said that they would not be satisfied that I have truly changed or taken past behavior seriously unless I do some kind of a 12 step program. For this person’s sake alone I am willing to do so , but again am at a loss to know how and where to begin. I am a trained drug and alcohol counselor and have quite a bit of experience in 12 step groups. What my critic is saying though is that I have never had a sponsor who would call me out or hold me accountable, which is quite true. Perhaps a sexual addiction group would be appropriate for me, for pornography and lust were certainly core besetting sins in my life before revival. And there can be no harm in going through the steps once again, ( for in essence that is what revival is) . I will give this much thought and prayer and perhaps a reader will have some good suggestion for me in this regard. And please remember me in your prayers that the Lord will guide me and give me favor with those I love, that 2016 will be a year of reconciliation and restoration.
I haven’t added to my diary for some time now, but I have still been experiencing the Revival of God and am advancing in the Lord. Scripture memorization has been a very important part of my discipline. I have memorized Romans ch 8. Hebrews ch 12, Psalm 91, and now I am memorizing the book of 1 John. Recently I have become aware that I have a new passion and love for God’s word. In all my forty years as a Christian and as a pastor i have not really loved Gods word. I have loved theology and philosophy and preaching instead. I read the Bible primarily to find material for sermons. This morning, I asked God to speak to me ( something I do often now ) and He directed me to Psalm 119. I have always avoided Psalm 119 because of its repetitiveness and length. I confess that in the past I found Psalm 119 to tedious for words. Today I enjoyed it and read it a second time and readily received what the Lord was saying to me thru it. And I am experiencing the same beauty of God’s word, as I memorize 1 John though it too is very repetitious. I am beginning to understand that in that repetition is the wisdom of God.
I am more and more convinced that the Lord has set me apart for a season of preparation, to prepare for revival and that this season will be all too short and i need to be wise in the way I use this time. More than anything I want to have much scripture memorized so that i will be much more effective in ministry. I am making significant advances in prayer also , particularly in the area of intercession. I am learning how to let the Lord guide me. It is as if He takes me in the Spirit to the person or place I need to intercede for and He keeps me there until He assures me that I have completed my task in prayer. An hour spent this way passes very quickly. In fact i am finding that my biggest temptation is the urge to pray. Many times when I ought to be attending to chores I find cannot pull myself away from prayer.. This is so very unlike me. I have never been anything like this ever before. Always prayer was the chore, and twenty minutes was about all I could endure. Surely the law of the spirit of life has indeed set me free from the law of sin and death.
This has been a quiet day of online research. I am finding myself struggling between the extremes of revival theology and practice that are being promoted in the world. . On the one hand is the world of John Wimber and John Paul Jackson, and Bethel church and the Toronto Vineyard ” blessing” and Brad Jersak, and on the other hands are the views of people like the blogger McKala who is came out of that world and now is quite critical of it and quite biblically so. She writes with great authority. I am influenced by the A Wimber Way. if I might be allowed to pun on the chorus of the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight. I have many friends in that world, members of the mens group I belong to. But I have never felt truly comfortable with it. My spirit does not bear witness with it, though I have not had solid proofs or reasons to refute it. It just was something I did not feel led to join. I love the men, I don’t love their theology. I have been reading articles by Al Houghton about praying the justice of God, and that is resonating with me. He writes that for 70 years the church has not used prayer offensively and that corresponds very closely with my contention that the notion of Christendom died about 70 years ago, and with the death of Christendom , the sense of responsibility, of duty, to fight for Christian justice on an national and international level also died. I will be meeting him soon, and hearing him lecture which is quite exciting. Somewhere between, between the anticharismatic rejection of The Holy Spirit gifts, and the extremes of A Wimber Way, is where I want to set up camp. Where that is exactly I am still not quite sure.
Mar 29, 2016
It has been quite awhile since my last diary post. I have been quite occupied with a hip replacement operation, which i received Mar 22. I am so grateful to report, that it has gone well so far. I am up and about and moving fairly well, with no aid save a cane and that not always. Of course immediately following the operation, there was a lot of pain, which was controlled by doses of morphine. That stage if finished and I manage the pain with a few Tylenol through the day, and so I have been spending the past week mostly convalescing here at the home of Henry and Marge Hakkinen. They have been so incredibly hospitable and gracious to me during this difficult time in my life. They have been a blessing from God. Prior to the operation I spent a little over a month, courier driving, trying to save up a little money to tide me through this month of recuperation and so for a month now i have written little.
During this time, I have not fallen from my state of revival but i certainly have wobbled. I found that with going back to full-time work i was just not spending the same amount of time in prayer as I had been doing and that lack of prayer showed up as renewed temptations. I remembered Charles Finneys warning that a person needed to go back to the cross and work through confession and repentance on a regular basis, he suggested every three weeks. As so I did this, though I sense I still need a complete refresher, as it were, in the next few weeks.
While convalescing I have had a lot of time to think, and as always one of my main meditations is the Tabernacle Journey. I find it an endless source of inspiration and revelation. One of my main concerns as I meditate is to discover the purpose of my life. I am now 62, and I so want my life to make a significant contribution. I feel that in many ways I am just approaching the threshold of a fruitful labour. There as many things I could attempt to do, I have many skills, but then I also have many hurdles my age being chief among them as I simply do not have the energy a younger man would bring to the same tasks. The Tabernacle Journey has helped me in these meditations. A very significant component of the Journey is that it reveals the balanced nature of God, and therefore of the balance that He engenders in his people. The Holy Place has the three principal components of Christs ministry.
The light, the incense and the salt.
The balanced ministry of Christ is revealed by the menorah, the seven-branched lamp, the altar of incense and the altar of Shewbread the three articles in the Holy place.. The light speaks to me of truth. Our Lord is a God of truth. Just and true are his ways, and the church rightfully occupies most of its labours teaching the truth of the word of God. The incense is a sweet savor rising up before the Lord. Scripture teaches that it represents the prayers of the saints, and that is indeed a beautiful figure. I believe that it also manifests the sweetness of our God. He is a kind, gentle, compassionate person who longs to be in a sweet and intimate relationship with His all of His beloved and of course this occurs most powerfully in prayer and worship. . Where the truth can be, and often is harsh, it is balanced by this sweetness of our Lord. The table of shewbread speaks to me of the salt, as bread was served with salt and salt was seen as a symbol of the covenant. Our lord is true and so to serve him we become a people dedicated to the truth of His word. Our God is sweet and so to serve him in sweetness we worship him, with all of our being. But He is also salt. He is practical and knows that His children have temporal needs, and so He makes provision for our physical needs. To serve Him well we must also be people who are concerned with the ministry of salt. As I meditate on the salt I am asking myself, am I balanced in the lord. Am I being what Jesus termed, the salt of the earth. I think that I have much to learn about being salt, and that perhaps in the church there is much to offer for, the church it seems to me, is also deficient in this area of salt.
April 6, 2017
Well, its been a long time since I have reported in to my diary. Sorry bout that. Its not that my revival fires have cooled. I still pray for revival day and night and walk in sinless purity and ever increasing holiness, I have been pretty busy with work but thats no excuse. I have something to report. A small group of us men have started a non denominational city prayer ministry, praying for revival in our town of Mission BC. My friend Gerry Diamond and I are providing leadership and it is going well. About 10 of us meet each week at the Van City Community room. I have some very strong convictions about prayer. First I regard it as very holy. It is not something to do lightly or casually. For this reason I always go to the meeting at least a half hour early and begin praying for the meeting and the participants. I always rededicate the room to the Lord and ask Him to sanctify it for his purposes . I invite the other participants to come early with me to the preprayer session. My desire is that the prayer workers will come into a holy environment and immediately sense the presence of God , so that we won’t be sidetracked by chitchat or worldly nonsense. Secondly I think it is extremely important to always be blessing in our prayers. I believe that nothing is so evil that it can’t be approached with blessing. There is much evil in the world and much lacking in the church and if one wants to he can always find fault. But why should we. The one to whom we are praying knows all and he has instructed us not to judge. I don’t have a home church at present, ( and am comfortable with that ) but go to a different church each Sunday. There are about five churches I visit in succession and I know and love quite a few people in each church. Lately the Lord has been clearly instructing me not to criticize how the various churches do things. You need to know that I am the worlds worst critic by nature and it is with great reluctance that I remove my critics hat. In a way it is quite a relief to stop criticizing. It’s like an obligation I no longer am obliged to do. The Lord is challenging me to lead by example, and if I can’t do that to wait patiently upon the Lord for Him to provide opportunities to lead by example.
I see the Mission Prayer Society as the beginnings of revival in Mission as we lay down a prayer foundation. As we pray for revival, remember the lost, and bless the churches and their pastors I believe that we will stoking the fires of revival. Very importantly we will bringing to remembrance to blessing of revival and encouraging the churches to remember revival as well. The article I just blogged by Ralph Sutera about the Canadian revival in past years was so inspiring to read. Most notably was his story about two East Indian brothers, in India who asked God to give them a city in Canada to pray for. He gave them Saskatoon Saskatchewan. Though they couldnt pronounce the name ( who can ) they faithfully prayed for Saskatoon. A year after the revival in Saskatoon a Canadian, visiting India told the story of the Saskatoon revival at a gathering. These brothers came up to him and asked him to say again the name the city and they were so excited that God had answered their prayers. The story of revival is the story of persistant and believing prayer. I urge you to stand with me and all the other faithful who are calling on God for revival in our times. This report by Ralph Sutera is about the best report on revival I have ever read and I by God’s grace I would like to distribute copies of this report in every church in Mission. Maybe you could the same in your town.