Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Prophetic Promises

I’ve been looking back at the video from the night we are officially installed as the pastors. The many words of wisdom and council that came to us are proving to be more precious than silver or gold to us.

As I reviewed the recording these are some of the things that have caught my attention this time:

Bishop Raphael Green:
Set us in as the senior pastor and first lady, senior associate pastor. I will start referring to Carol in this way and take the pressure off of her to be a co-pastor. She is primarily, the first lady and then the senior associate pastor. I’ll place that in our brochures and documents.

He also prayed for Grace, Wisdom Favor, Power, Authority and Ability in a multi-generational manner.

Pastor Raleigh Wingfield:
He prayed for Power and Understanding. He also prayed that the Lord would open the eyes of his understanding. Give him gifts of leadership and wisdom to lead your people.

That he would give a good word in due season, because a good word is like well driven nails.

He prayed that I would speak the mysteries… set men free.
He prayed that he would know what to do, the hour to do it, and the time that it is due.

He prayed that I would have perception to understand, comprehend the beginning and end of a thing. (Now I know why we are changing the name of the church and distinguishing the Fruitful Life Network from the church.

He prayed that I would know how to migrate and navigate, and know how to make decisions and appointments. He prayed that I would know how to decide when to go out and when to come in, when to rise up and when to sit down. Finally he prayed that I would understand the timings and seasons of the Lord.

Pastor Dave and Sheri Hess:
He declared that there is a Yes that resounds in the heavens. GOD says yes over our lives; HE says yes over every promise that He has made to us.

Sheri Hess prayed and asked the Lord to expand their capacity to receive from God, Let them partake in that ever increasing thing (Like the Kingdom of God is ever increasing). She spoke of God’s deposit of life, that we would be speaking words of LIFE; that they will LIFE people.

She saw us speaking LIFE into people; hope, salvation, healing over people. She declared that life is in their mouth. She saw a rod of budding coming out of our mouths.

Then she said there’s many in the wake of their foot prints, walking in the path, following them, many are in the trail of their foot prints.

Again she prayed that God would expand our capacity to receive beyond our wildest dreams, beyond what they can ask or think, not just for numbers. She said God sent servants who smell like sheep, willing to go low and minister.

John Shuey:
John prayed a declaration that before the beginning of time God preordained Chris and Carol to good works. We call forth their destiny in the name of Jesus Christ.”
He prayed, “That a faith would rise up within them and within this congregation that would touch heaven and bring that destiny into reality.

That everything God planned for them to accomplish in this city would be fulfilled; That every dream that God dreamed for us in heaven would become a reality on earth.”

First Lady Brenda Green:
“May God expand you, enrich you, empower you, ask for supernatural, double portion anointing, that they might fulfill God’s ordained destiny.”

Kerry Shuey: God is going to bless them exceedingly, abundantly, above all that they can ask or imagine. God is going to bless them beyond their imagination; Beyond anything they have seen or heard. Cause your people throughout this city, and the lost and hurting, the desperate to see God in them. We pray for such a harvest, to see the hope within them.

We pray for the lost to come trickling in and rushing in to this place. That they would expand and burst the seams of this place. Be preparing the next place. Prepare the staff, the audio, visual equipment, finances, everything that they need, called forth according to God’s riches in glory.

We receive these gifts into our city. We covenant to work together.

Bishop Raphael Green: Prophetically he declared, “I would even adjust your pace; I will bring about an accommodation of your spirit to my spirit. You shall discover the ways of the lord, and you shall know my heart, and I would dare to even catapult you if you would be willing and obedient.

For the forces of darkness that have aligned themselves against this region or on alert. The servants of the Lord with whom you stand have heard the clarion call of God

So I will require that you maintain a heart of openness and comradory, and prayer with the elders of this city. For I have made you significant players in that which I have already begun. If you would remain humble you together shall see the hand of God.”

We Know How They Feel

I really didn’t plan to watch the whole thing. I logged on line to catch a brief glimpse of the memorial Service for Michael Jackson. I caught quite a bit of it. Smokie Robinson, Barry Gordy, Brooke Shields, Marlon Jackson and the final words by Michael’s daughter.

I caught enough of it that I was overwhelmed with the pain and grief I have unintentionally suppressed for months and years. The whole situation was so sad and it brought back the death of my brother, along with the death of Chris Jackson, Bishop Gimenez and Bishop Saunders, just to name a few. It brought back the pain of separation from my family and friends. It brought back the tugging on my heart to just give up and quit.

It brought so much because Michael Jackson was just a regular person with an extraordinary gift. He was one of millions of us Black Kids growing up in the 60’s, especially those of us who grew up in talented, musical families in the Midwest. His success and the Jackson’s success, was our triumph and success.

Now, to see them all so vulnerable and in so much pain was beyond what I could take. The images stayed with me all evening. I tossed and turned all night. I interceded for the family because I know how they feel.

No matter how much dirt is in a family and no matter how much we fight, it still comes down to the reality that all we got is each other. No amount of money or fame can take the place of that simple reality. Their mansions will feel emptier from now on. Their Mercedes will just be transportation from here to there. Their clothes will just be garments. Their jewelry will never shine like it did before.

I pray that the emptiness and pain will lead to a new conviction and commitment to God. I pray that this family will not become hardened, but that they will be become tender toward God.

We have never known much about the Jackson family beyond the stage. We don’t know their personalities, their wildness, their angry outburst, their vices or their true values.

But in this brief moment in time, we share something painfully real and we have something in common. We know how they feel.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

From Fruitful Life to Urban Life

I'm glad to be blogging again. I've started a time of fasting and consecration and that always ignites my writing and music. The Lord has given me a couple of new songs already. He's reminding me of many promises that HE gave us before we moved to Pennsylvania. We really need the reminders more than ever.

We're on the brink of breakthrough or disaster. The only thing that will determine the outcome is faith in the Lord Himself. Now that the legislators of this state are in a battle regarding the state budget, I'm one of thousands of state employees who are currently working without pay. If something doesn't happen right away, we'll be facing the inability to pay rent and utilities. The income through Carol's job is not affected, but my income is almost double the amount of hers. Still, our trust is in the Lord.

It's difficult because we want to see breakthrough for mom and for the Carter family as well. They have trusted the Lord and trusted us. Now we are all being challenged as to if whether we are truly following the Lord or if we are following a foolish dream.

If we are to reach the new era as a ministry and start fresh as Urban Life Church, we will make this one last stand. We will hold on to the Lord until the very end. We must know, once and for all, that we are following the voice of the Lord.

If we are to get across this final barrier, this same barrier that has stopped every ministry that has come to this area to bring the truth and the prophetic anointing, we must seek the Lord for His wisdom

Living in A Daze...again

I don't know how to explain it or express it, but things are coming to a close. As the month of June faded out and as we come closer to the anniversary of the day we moved to Harrisburg (July 9, 2004), I feel that a door is closing. I don't know if you can call it a window of opportunity that is closing or if it is a book that is ending. I just feel like something has come to an end.

We've made the decision to change the name of the church from Fruitful Life Worship Center to Urban Life Church. We just know that Fruitful Life Worship Center has come to an end. It's purpose has been served. For everyone we were supposed to reach or connect with, I don't know if you can call it an overall success or a massive failure, but its time is over. We connected with Mom Dennis, the Carter family, and the Fosters and for that we are forever grateful. We are enriched and blessed because of them.

Now we are in transition again. We are looking for a house in the city, even though we have no earthly means of financing it or borrowing money to buy a home. We just know that we are supposed to prepare to move from where we are right now.

We're all saddened by the news that another prospective member is moving on. We tried our best to be loving and understanding, as well as being real and open. We didn't try to hide our flaws or pretend that we had it all together. Sometimes I'm totally confused and dismayed by the response of people in this community.

I also realize that we have really been out of it, these past two years. Since losing our home, we have also lost many dear people: Bishop John Gimenez, Bishop William Saunders, Bishop Val Melendez, Tiffany's mom passed away, and this year we lost Elder Chris Jackson. The past two years have been filled with tragic loss. I honestly don't know how we've been able to keep going. We really haven't taken time to process all of this. Carol and I used to take therapeutic walks after work everyday. We walked until the pain stopped, but that did not mean we were really healing and recovering from all that's been happening.

People here seem to be immune and indifferent to death and loss. They express no sympathy or concern for the losses of others. May be it's because they don't have close families, so they feel nothing when they hear that you've lost a brother or a friend.

We almost lost my baby brother a few months ago. Finally, our brother and Bishop had to be hospitalized with chest pains this past week. We didn't tell the church family because we didn't want to alarm them.

Emotionally and mentally, we feel the same way that we did when my brother Mark died 10 years ago. We were so traumatized that we lived in a daze for almost two years. When we came to ourselves we realized our house was in a mess, the church office was cluttered, our cars we unkept, and we were always crying at the drop of a hat.

As I write this, I realize that we are in the same condition. Once again, our current resident is cluttered and untidy along with our office/ studio area, bedrooms and vehicles. For the most part, we've been trying to keep going, but we're pretty messed up right now with so many losses in such a short amount of time.

So while we are trying to get through this, people are making judgments and evaluations about us and the validity of the calling and ministry. So I can only wish that we had been able to be better examples for them to follow.

This is the kind of thing that makes us wonder why the Lord ever called us. If it weren't for the video clips with the prophecies, we would be wondering if He really called us at all.

So we will press forward, forgetting those things which are behind....