Streaming Live at www.tonewlife.org

•January 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Streaming Live tonight (Jan 27), January 28 & 29 at 7pm PST. Go to http://www.tonewlife.org and click watch/listen. You can also join us in person at Thousand Oaks New Life 5740 Corsa Street in Westlake Village, CA. Three nights of power!

Advertisements

John 21:25 There are many other things that Jesus did.

•January 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

John 21:25
There are many other things that Jesus did.

Not that just filled the four Gospels, but many other things. That’s a powerful statement in itself. That could finish off John’s Gospel and be complete wouldn’t you say?
But then John, led by the Holy Spirit continues: If, implying that it could be done, every one of them were written down, I suppose that the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Recently I was studying about Abraham and postulating what the astronomers, astrologers and such would have made of his claims that the Lord had said Abraham’s seed would be as the multitude of stars in the heavens. Surely at that time most believed the world was flat and the planets and Sun rotated around the earth. Then gazing into the sky one could count with the unaided eye maybe three thousand stars. That didn’t seem like such a vast family line as we might have supposed.

They most likely didn’t live to even understand the promise given Abraham and it’s amazing future, let alone the vastness of the universe that Jehovah was communicating along with the prophetic utterance of the Hebrew tribe that was to be. Only multitudes of years later have we ascertained that the universe is ever expanding and there are some 100 billion galaxies with 100 billion stars in their galaxies.

Respectively the people of the apostles time when reading the gospels probably believed the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia were most likely the whole world, not knowing John inspired by the Holy Ghost was undoubtedly including the Americas, Australia, Antarctica and any little bits unbeknown to them at the time.

At the finish of one the last Malibu Bible studies at Pepperdine I closed with this scripture from the book of John. If Jesus ministry was about three to three and a half years or somewhere near 1000-1200 days, can you imagine how many signs were being performed daily?

Surely if we are to follow in His footsteps, each believer should at least be able to fill up just one continent full of books. Wouldn’t you agree it’s about time the Body of Christ stepped up to the call?

As for me, regardless of present circumstances, I’m standing with John Paul Jones who during the Battle of Flamborough Head with his ship rammed twice by the opposing military answered, “I have not yet begun to fight!”.

I vow to fill up at least two continents!

Have you been pressing in faith towards …

•December 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Have you been pressing in faith towards the prize? Having challenges? A good read ( or re-read) is “What to do when faith seems weak and victory lost” by Kenneth Hagin.

Pakistan 2009: Do you work for the CIA?

•October 23, 2009 • 3 Comments

I actually get it a lot more than you would think. When I am traveling to some exotic, dangerous or unusual out-of-the way place people ask what it is I do. Hotel guests, employees and airport acquaintances try to fish and find out. Sometimes I keep quiet to them for serious reasons, other times I am vague to ‘salt the conversation’ to see if there is an open door to share. This last trip I even had to be careful with my blog and social networks in case the Consulate or others attempted to google me for more information about what I was doing. So I guess it might seem like I could be involved in the CIA, or at least the romanticized idea of the CIA.

This last mission started with a simple visit to a church while Christie,Tori and I were taking some much needed R&R in Santa Barbara. I was minding my own business while a friend of mine was preaching a good pastoral message on the protection of the Lord. While he was speaking the Lord downloaded directly to me, “You have an invitation to go to Pakistan, I want you to take it.” Instructions from headquarters, basically.Did I really have a choice? He said, ” If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15. Pretty straightforward stuff, I would say. Within days I had communicated to all relevant parties when I had a return call from Pastor Salik John, my host. He informed me as I was given orders he was landing in Denver, coming from Pakistan. Nice timing. Some pastors from the last time I was there in Sept ’07 had asked if I would return. Confirmation of orders. I asked when we could go. He said after monsoon season. September during Ramadan, their holy days. Nice, out of the frying pan into the fire.

They had said in one area, after a campaign of about 2000 in two days if we had a 10,000 seat arena we could have filled it. So my game plan was, I’ve got about three and a half months, we are going to target 10,000 plus Pakistanis. We’ll raise $40,000-50,000, show up in that city and ask them to show us a bigger venue. Pay for it, move the equipment and preach to 10,000 people and watch God move. People will get behind us, because they’d rather send then go, right? Preach in one of the most volatile places on earth, tell them about Jesus, what He’s done for them! What an opportunity to go and send to the uttermost parts of the world. To a place where they are unreached!

Three months later and we had raised maybe 5% of what we needed. Every where we shared I expected the next place to really jump on board and say Wow! fruit in Pakistan. There were some Wows! and there were a few, “Maybe God is saying you don’t need to go, it’s pretty dangerous over there…” I had mileage to go, but now the Consulate was stalling my visa that I had acquired easily in a day last time. Two and a half weeks had gone by and some more, “Maybe God doesn’t want you to go’s” were flinging at me. Then even a little international mix-up in communication. Not enough resources, visa problems, communication issues. But my orders had been real clear! As my time neared to depart I had my bags in the car packed every day, ready to jump on a plane.

Finally a glimmer of hope, a pastor from Maryland tells me a church member will let me use a companion ticket to fly to the east coast so I can at least get a head start. Four days no visa. Showing up once again at the Consulate they pull me in the office and interview me. Why does an American want to go to Pakistan during these times? ‘Harmless as a dove, wise as a serpent’ is all I’m going to respond about this. After about 30 minutes I am told they will advise the Consulate General that they recommend I should be allowed a visa. No promises. Sounds like the CIA to me. They will contact me by 11AM the next morning. They don’t, I do and the stalling continues. We drive to the Consulate by 3:30 and they are surprised I am impatient. Within 20 minutes I am delivered my visa and on the way to the airport. Flying the red-eye I arrive in Baltimore where my Pastor friend says ‘Hang out a day and come to church’. Remember I still don’t have my ticket overseas as I couldn’t book it without a visa.

Sunday morning the man who gave me the companion ticket asks me how my flight was. After a little small talk, he asks me my next destination. I tell him Dubai. He asks me to hold on and comes back with ticket equivalents to the Middle East and all the way back to Los Angeles. That night I am flying to Dubai, UAE. Two days later I am in Lahore, Pakistan via Doha, Qatar after more seeming travel challenges. I check into the Holiday Inn and this time there is three foot razor wire in front of the hotel and two 50-caliber automatic shotgun wielding guards in booths. Different place. We drive the next day for a few hours to the first Campaign.
Under constant machine-gun escort we come to Kasur, Pakistan.There are 3000+ people and that night after preaching on Mark 5:25, over 1200 people give their hearts to the Lord. A deaf mans ears are opened among others touched by the Lord.

The next night in Jhelum a few kilometers outside of town a police truck with 6 or more gun toting officers pull in front of us, a couple more trucks pull behind at strategic points in case we are ambushed. We are carefully ushered in a gate, where a man with a rifle is positioned on the roof above where we will be preaching. 800 attend the first night, 300 receive the Lord. I watch as Bro.Salik prays for a young girl who is blind. Her eyes are opened and she can see. 1200+ attend the second night and at least 300 respond to the altar call. The pastors tell us in the history of this town this is the first time they have ever had an event such as this. Probably 80,000-90,000 reside here. Over 5000 people ministered to in 3 days, some 1800+ people respond to the Lord.

We finish preaching at the church in Lahore of over 200. These are poor people residing in a dangerous country during perilous times. Realizing how important it is I minister on “How to be led by the Holy Spirit”. A basic simplified message of “How to Train your Spirit” by Bro. Hagin. Afterwards, I explain to them one of the best ways to be led by the Spirit is to be baptized in the Spirit. 30-50 people respond and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Another 10 people respond to a salvation call. Against all the challenges, stalled visa, lack of enthusiasm for the project, financial obstacles, travel situations and such all I can think of is what if I would have chosen not to accept this assignment? How many other assignments are being cut short as we look for circumstances, problems and challenges to line up or disappear?

I want to thank our partners who continue to send us on this great adventure and all who sowed prayers, finances, tickets and equipment. We couldn’t accomplish any of this without you. Know that you have fruit in Pakistan. Like David said in 1 Samuel 30:24,”… Certainly, the share of those who go into battle must be like the share those who stay by the supplies. They will all share alike.”

PS We will attempt to put up videos of the trip as quickly as we can.

seeing dreams fulfilled

•October 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Never would I have imagined…

Despite the struggles that we have been through these past few years, we have determined in our hearts that “we can not be defeated and will not quit”. In the midst of the biggest challenges of our lives, we have found that as long as we continually look to God, nothing is impossible and with Him, ALL things truly are possible.

Tonight was a moment that I thought was worth sharing. We have had many amazing moments in this past month, ones that I wish didn’t take so much time to chronicle. (So happy that we have twitter and facebook) However, as Cliff shared with 12 male students during an after school program in inner-city Albany, NY this evening, I realized once again that we are created for such a time as this. Both of our backgrounds are those of statistical failures. We were from broken families with many different kinds of abuse and heartache, the ones that “won’t make it”. Not that we are saying we are even close to perfection, but we have overcome such huge odds that were against us, both as individuals and as a couple. It was surreal to share with these teens, ones that have bigger odds against them than we ever did. Yet to watch them respond to Cliff’s message by writing down these dreams/goals and then talk about their plans to attain them was so extremely purposeful. It is what we were created to do.

And it is wonderful to be doing it….

Thank you to ALL of you who help us to reach out to others. You are going with us and fulfilling a vital part. Thank you!

Walking with God: Part 2

•June 20, 2009 • 2 Comments

…And the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. Jn 10:4b

A ministry friend had to cancel a youth camp due to unforseen circumstances and asked me to be the main speaker last minute.
I just happened to be in the region so it was perfect. They informed me that the denominations represented were a little more conservative than our camp, so “tone it down a little” to put it mildly. Tone it down a little is not normally in my vocabulary but I endeavored to cooperate.

The first two meetings were reasonable services. Simple sermons based on being ‘Connected’ and ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments’. Walking with Him. Putting Him first. Good Christian sermons.
I had nominal responses, these were denominational youth at a youth camp. Most, if not all were saved. Good Christian youth having a good time at Fall camp. They didn’t know me, had never heard about me. A guest speaker.

Several young people responded to commit to a deeper walk.

Provision along the Way
Then for my last service I began to tell them about driving my ’69 VW Karmann Ghia from Denver, CO to Tulsa, OK moving for Bible School.
While driving, I was talking to the Lord about my financial situation, realizing I could use more resources. I had just come from Hawaii, worked a little in Boulder, CO and bought the Ghia.I was pulling into town with a job offer. I had three months before school started but definitely in need of ‘daily bread’.
Driving through Cimarron, KS along I-70, the Lord told me to “Pull into that gas station and ask the lady at the counter for work”. I pulled in, went inside, got a cup of tea and sat down at one of the tables.

I sat there for two hours basically looking at the lady, trying to figure out how to do this. Finally I thought I might as well leave, so on my way out I’ll just ask her. When I did she stared at me in disbelief saying, “You’ve been sitting there for two hours and I’ve been calling all over town trying to find someone to help my husband. “You need to go over to my house and help him weed the front lawn.”
It turned out they were believers and supporters of the ministry and bible school I was headed to attend.They sent me off with an excellent days wages for four hours of labor.

A Little Recreation
Another time I was staying in Monaco for a couple of months with my youth group of One (that’s another story). Raphael my previous watersports boss from the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel asked me to pick up some buoys from Beaulieu-sur-Mer. I was getting in the vehicle at about 9am when I again heard the voice of the Lord. “Put Your surfboard in the car,” He directed me. He wasn’t leading me to crash my car into the wall, just a simple instruction regarding my surfboard.

I drove the relatively short distance to Beaulieu and did my task. I figured I might as well drive a little further to Villefranche-sur-Mer and take a look at the water. I had heard about but never surfed the Mediterranean. Sure enough as I drove around the Bay there they were: head-high waves. I surfed with several people for a few hours. When I asked a frenchman who was catching the waves how long the swell would be here he responded, “7am-7pm, c’est tout, that’s it.”

Does He do that kind of stuff? Well He did it with me. I was there. Nobody can take that from me. Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame Him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”

Eternal hope for a young person
My last story, though certainly not the last revolves around a young man I’ll call Justin. Justin was about 15. He was a recipient in the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He had been diagnosed with Leukemia and his desire was to ski. A local news crew was assigned to follow his wish and part of his training was to ski on an indoor deck in Oklahoma. Get him prepared for the mountain in a more hospitable location. I was the instructor and during the lesson the voice of the Lord kept prompting me. “Tell him about Me.” But I was working, and I was the manager of the deck.
Again, my heart was beating out of my chest. “Tell him about Me.” Finally, exhausted by the lesson, Justin took a break. The news crew had gotten their shots and decided to exit. As I wrapped up the lesson at 8pm, I took my opportunity.

I explained to Justin and his father that although I was the manager this was my part-time job. My other job that I had trained for was my real job and there was no connection between the ski shop and me. I had now officially clocked out.

I had no idea what their reaction would be. But I had to follow the voice of the Shepherd. I asked Justin if he died if he knew where he would spend eternity. This was an extremely delicate situation considering the circumstances. I could just be an overzealous Bible School graduate.His father immediately shouted “Hallelujah!”. He responded by telling me Justin thought God was the author of this overwhelming challenge. I talked to Justin for a few minutes of God’s goodness and why Jesus was sent for us. I invited him to give his heart to the Lord. He declined but allowed me to pray for him.

As I finished up the last session of the youth camp I had noticed most of the 90 or so people had their arms folded, a not so positive body language response. I realised with some additional stories I was probably blowing their minds. “Yeah, right,” I could almost hear them say. I again closed the service asking who would like to develop a deeper walk with God, not to hear ‘A Voice’ per se, but to listen to the voice of the Shepherd.

At the closing of the service over fourty young people responded, including a youth pastor’s wife.
People really want to hear.

Seattle/Tacoma, WA

•June 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sorry for the delay to those of you that have looked for Part 2 to last week’s blog re-post. Cliff flew to Washington last Thursday and has been having a great time doing leadership meetings, youth services and a re-design of a youth facility etc. He is excited about writing this next blog, but will have to get to it next week. Thanks for your patience.