Blog Life Minus Box //
Random Quote "The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal."
-C.S. Lewis
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Random Scripture Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:10-11
Support Jonathan Jonathan is an intercessory missionary at Light of the World Prayer Center in Bellingham, WA and raises his own financial support. If you would like to contribute to support him in this ministry, click donate below!


His Love Goes Deeper - Laura Hackett

This is a song that Laura Hackett's team has done recently in the prayer room at IHOP-KC.  I have written out the lyrics and chords.  Enjoy!

Lyrics are credited to Laura Hackett, Forerunner Music.

Song is played with Capo 3.  The original key is A#.

To download a chord sheet: CLICK HERE

   G                   Bm
My faith it lifts the weight of pain
     Em             D
From lonely and mistaken days
    C             Am
Of hiding behind deep dark clouds
    C                        D
Of worthlessness and selfish pride

   G               Bm
My faith is my belief in truth
     Em             D
That God above loves me and you
     C                Am
And gave us freedom, gave us life
    C                    D
To walk in love through Jesus Christ

C          D                           Em
I am confident that neither life nor death
Can keep me from the love of Christ
Can keep me from the love of Christ
C                D                     Em
Though I cannot see still my heart believes
And I am filled with joy inexpressible

I feel His love welling up on the inside of me
All those years bound in chain He is setting me free
His love goes deeper than the pain that I feel
His love is stronger than depression or fear

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What is the meaning of life?

OK, ten years later and I'm back to blogging.  It's been forever.  I *hope* to be doing this more often now.  I think one of the reasons I haven't is because I've felt that every blog post needs to be long, life-changing thoughts that nobody in the history of mankind has ever had before.  So expect some things that are much more short and to the point.

So, today's short and to the point topic: what is the meaning of life?  I know, easy to answer, right?  So here goes…

I've been in the midst of changing seasons, in many ways.  And God has been showing and teaching me a lot.  Too much to ever describe, and too much for me to put into words or clear thoughts even for myself.  And I know there's even so much more.  But what's the big thing He's been showing me?  His unfailing, perfect love.  Didn't I know of this before?  Well, yes.  But no.  Let's start here: there is a difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge.  I can walk up to someone and tell them God loves them despite their sin.  They may even believe me.  But there is nothing I can do to have those words change the state of their heart.  It is the Holy Spirit that must come and give them revelation of the Father's love for them.

An understanding.  A revelation is an understanding given by God - when you receive a revelation it hits you on every level: mind, body, soul.  It's not until we have a revelation of God's love for us that we are truly changed - to know that we are accepted despite our wickedness.  And He doesn't just tolerate us and love us because He has to!  He rejoices over us with dancing!  He loves to give us joy!  He's not mostly angry with us, he delights in us!  I grew up a "Christian" but never really knew in my heart and by experience that God loved me.  It is VERY important that everyone experience God's love!  This experience is something our logic can never explain.

Picture a joyful God!  Does Jesus laugh?  I think so!  I think He is probably one of the funniest people who ever lived.  The most joyful.  I can picture Him now - sitting on the throne, looking down at all of His children and laughing hysterically!  Not because He's laughing at us, but because He is so overtaken with joy for each of us that He can't contain it!

The reason we're alive

So I suppose that brings us to the meaning of life - the question that humans have probably pondered since their creation.  What is the purpose of living?  The very reason for our existence is to accept the love of God and to return it.  If we are apart from God and not continually in His presence, we will NEVER be satisfied.  There will always be a sense of emptiness.  You can try as hard as you want, it doesn't matter what you do!  I guarantee that if you're trying to find meaning and purpose in anything or anyone but Jesus, you will ultimately be let down EVERY time.

Let's check out Psalm 16:11:

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Did you read that?  Read it at least five more times!  ONLY God can make known to us the path of life.  And not just that, but in His presence, and His presence alone, there is FULLNESS OF JOY and pleasures forevermore!!  Are you getting this?  Okay, picture the most joyful person you have ever known and at the time you saw them having the most joy.  What were they doing?  Staring blankly?  Looking bored?  Alright, I'm convinced that if we are filled with the fullness of joy, we will NOT be able to sit there and proclaim in a monotone voice with a straight face, "Boy do I have joy right now."  No!!  I bet there would be laughing, excitement, dancing - I guarantee most people would think you were crazy.  I do believe that God can and does give us outward expressions of joy while we are in His presence.  This is one thing I've been experiencing lately, and has been a means of Him speaking to me.  Have you ever laughed for a long time?  Yeah, I'm not kidding when I say there have been times lately while in His presence (note: nobody told a funny joke, I wasn't watching a movie, etc.) where I haven't been able to stop laughing for literally hours.  It hurts!  But there is nothing like it and somehow each time I know a bit more the love that the Father has for me.

Do you want to know God's love for you?  Ask, and keep asking.  You will be surprised!

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James 4:14

An old legend tells of a merchant in Bagdad who one day sent his servant to the market.  Before very long the servant came back, white and trembling, and in great agitation said to his master: "Down in the market place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd, and when I turned around I saw it was Death that jostled me.  She looked at me and made a threatening gesture.  Master, please lend me your horse, for I must hasten away to avoid her.  I will ride to Samarra and there I will hide, and Death will not find me."

The merchant lent him his horse and the servant galloped away in great haste.  Later the merchant went down to the market place and saw Death standing in the crowd.  He went over to her and asked, "Why did you frighten my servant this morning?  Why did you make a threatening gesture?"

"That was not a threatening gesture," Death said.  "It was only a start of surprise.  I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra."

Each of us has an appointment in Samarra.  But that is cause for rejoicing - not for fear, provided we have put our trust in Him who alone holds the keys of life and death.

-Peter Marshall

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Fear - Psalm 85

C#m              A
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak
    E                          B
For He will speak peace to His people, to His saints

C#m        A             E                    B
Surely His salvation, is near, for those that fear Him.
C#m                A            E      B
That the glory may dwell in our land.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak
For He will speak peace to His people, to His saints

Surely His salvation, is near, for those that fear Him.
That the glory may dwell in our land.

F#m          C#m       B
Will you not revive us again?
F#m              C#m            B
That your people may rejoice in you.

Surely His salvation, is near, for those that fear Him.
That the glory may dwell in our land.

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Here we are, God, come before the throne of grace
Here we are, God, come before the mercy seat

I can see the lightning, I can feel the thunder
I can hear the voices proceeding from Your throne

Twenty-four elders bowing low, casting down their crowns of gold
And four living creatures crying out, day and night, night and day

Only one word comes to mind
There’s only one word to describe

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty

There is no one like You
You are holy, holy

"Holy" - Lyrics by Matt Gilman

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Noise: the slow spiritual death

I've been thinking a lot lately about noise - the noise of life.  The little things and the big things that we do as we go about our day that aren't completely necessary to our calling.  How much of our day is spent doing things that don't have an eternal value, or are necessary to enable us to do things that have an eternal value?

I'm discovering that I feel my life is sometimes full of noise.  My schedule fills up with things that seem necessary, but ultimately, I can't always justify the busyness as central to my calling or even identify where the noise seems to be coming from.  But I do know that this noise contributes to a slow and painful spiritual death.  And I also know that I am disliking this noise every day and desiring more and more to live a simple life with only one desire: loving God.  After all, we can spend years searching for God's "will" or directional calling for our lives, but a good 90% of His will for our lives is already known: to love Him!

So why is it so easy to get caught up in the noise of the world?  To wonder where time has gone, as if you seem to be sitting still while it passes you by?  There are times when I feel very tempted to just throw out some of my scheduled or "important" obligations to spend some time with God.  Or maybe to forget sleep for a while and spend the night in His presence if that's what it takes.

When God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden to guard, protect and keep it, life was good.  But not just good.  It was perfect.  They didn't have to spend the day in a cubicle working for corporate America, they didn't have a calendar on their computer that laid out where they must spend each hour of their day, and they certainly didn't have days full of unproductive, non-eternal waste.  They simply loved God and enjoyed His presence.

And they knew Him.  The word used for "knew" in Genesis 4:1 and Genesis 4:25 is the Hebrew word yada, which means to know intimately on a level so great that it's incomprehendable to our minds.  They didn't just know of God, or know Him as an acquaintance.  Adam and Eve intimately knew God and dwelled in His very presence every second of every day.  They knew His love and presence in such a way that it passed all knowledge, and every single thing they needed God gave them.  It was absolute perfection!

The bottom line is that I'm convinced that today most of the church does not truly know God.  We can't recognize His presence in our lives.  If God stopped showing up to church, most people probably wouldn't notice.  And if God showed up in extreme power, half of the church would probably be scared half to death and leave.  But how wrong is that?  It's the same as saying a child won't notice when their father leaves the family, or another child being frightened at the presence of dad.

I'm absolutely convinced that we need to be 100% sold out for Jesus, doing every single thing possible to love Him with everything we have.  Nothing else matters.  We need to live for ONE THING and one thing only: to love God.  Why is it always so hard?

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Revival in Disneyland's Magic Kingdom

This is a four part series of revival breaking out last month in Disneyland's Magic Kingdom.  A few people were given free tickets to the theme park and began praying for people.  Many youth got healed and saved!  When they get healed and feel the presence of the Spirit, some of their reactions of complete shock and speachlessness is priceless!  The beginning of part 4 is a great example of this... What a great way to make the "happiest place on earth" even happier!

Written testimony:

Part 1 of 4

Part 2 of 4

Part 3 of 4

Part 4 of 4

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The anthem of a generation

Jake Hamilton, a Jesus Culture music artist, recently released his first CD.  If you haven't heard it, he plays harder rock that's all about falling in love with God and bringing revival.  Above all, the song that speaks the most to me is titled "The Anthem."

Each generation has a choice.  Many choices.  Ultimately, we can choose to leave a greater spiritual inheritance for those that follow us, or to fall farther away from God.  As for my generation - for me - I want us to fall back to a place of pure worship for our King, and to bring personal and corporate revival.  I want our generation to shake entire nations.  To win entire nations for God!  This is not easy.  I'm convinced that following God is the hardest thing anyone can do on this earth.  In order to do this, we need to wake up out of religious complacency and spiritual death!  Romans 13 tells us to know the time - the hour has come for us to wake from our sleep.

So let's focus on the first commandment.  Love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might.  Run at a full sprint and don't stop.  Be more afraid of rotting out from complacency than burning out from running too hard.  This is the one thing that matters.  There is no greater commandment.  And so it goes - This is the anthem of our generation, here we are God, shake our nation!

The Anthem

I can hear the footsteps of my King
I can hear His heartbeat beckoning
In my darkness He has set me free
And now I hear the Spirit calling me

He's calling wake up child it's your turn to shine
You were born for such a time as this
He's calling wake up child it's your turn to shine
You were born for such a time as this
Such a time as this

And I can hear a holy rumbling
I've begun to preach another King
Loosing chains and breaking down the walls
I want to hear the Father when He calls

He's calling wake up child it's your turn to shine
You were born for such a time as this!
Such a time as this

This is the anthem of our generation
Here we are God, shake our nation!
All we need is your love,
You captivate me!

I am royalty, I have destiny,
I have been set free, I'm gonna shape history!

I'm gonna change the world! (x7)

Updated: The Anthem Guitar Chords

Em C G D - repeat for the whole song.  Enjoy!

Lyrics are copyright Jake Hamilton

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The Father's endless supply of yogurt

I've been thinking a lot about God's gifts lately.  Yes, the spiritual gifts described in scripture, but also every other gift He gives us.  Specifically, I've been thinking about gifts we ask for.

I've been going through a lot of change lately - positive change.  I've come to realize how important it is for me to understand the Father's great love for me, and to learn to love Him more as a result of that revelation.  It's really all that matters.  I've come to understand that because of His great love for us, He loves to give gifts!

As I've been spending time thinking about the gifts that God gives us, I have been pondering the gifts He's given me, as well as the gifts that He has given people I know.  Which of these gifts were given without asking, and which of these gifts did I or a brother or sister of mine ask for?

As I began to think about specifically asking for gifts, God told me something that I believe to be extremely important.  He showed me that people I know, some of whom I am very close to, as well as myself, have a painful feeling of guilt when we ask God for gifts.  "It's selfish," we might say.  "How could God possibly want to heal my small headache or slight cold?  It's selfish to ask for something like that when there are people with so much more need in this world.  I could be praying for them instead of asking God for things for myself!"

I completely understand this.  You see, God showed me that the reason we feel guilty about asking for things from other people is because when they give to us they end up with less, by the standards of this world.  I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel guilty asking someone to give me something, because it means they have less (again, by this world's standards).  Because our relationships with people influence us so greatly, we ask things of God in the only way we know - thinking He has less when He gives to us.

Here's the kicker: when God gives us gifts, He does not have less as a result; He has more.  The reason for this is simple.  God is a giver of good gifts, and only gifts that benefit His Kingdom.  So when He gives us a gift, it benefits His Kingdom and He actually gains by giving away.  This is how the economy in the Kingdom works.  Jesus tells us that we may only keep our life if we have lost it first, and that we may only keep what we have given away.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:7-11

"For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." Luke 9:24

The reason we feel bad "taking" free gifts from God is because we have not yet accepted the spirit of adoption.  The spirit of adoption says that we are adopted children of God.  We are part of His family and have authority in His household.

If a family adopts a child and they have not yet accepted that adoption to mean that they are indeed a full part of that family, they are likely to ask permission to do simple things around the household such as grabbing some food out of the fridge.  But if you have adopted children who know that they are part of the family, and you've just gone to the store to buy a dozen yogurts, they will have no problem raiding the fridge and eating every last one.  This is because they know they have authority in the household, because they are a part of the family.  The yogurt is in their fridge which is in their household, so they know it is for them.  This authority is more difficult to understand, accept, and walk in, for adopted children than for children born into the family.  But if we know we dwell in the house of the Lord, why do we have a problem even getting a small snack from the fridge?

The Father of Heaven loves to give gifts abundantly to His children.  He finds pure joy and gains the gift when He gives it away!  Gift-giving in the Kingdom of God does not make sense to this world.  How can you give a gift (and appear to be losing the gift when you give it away), but actually receive as a result?  That's how the Kingdom works.  Never feel guilty asking for gifts from God.  He has an endless supply of yogurt to give - He created it, after all!  Ask away - just remember that there is a difference between wanting and asking!

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Glimpses of God's glory

Pouring out love

It's been an exciting few months of 2009 - God has been showing up more and more as many of us have been seeking him with more passion as He reveals His great love to us.  We've been experiencing breakthrough on so many levels, corporately and personally!

I want to share some stories of what God did here last week.  I am in continued amazement!

Heaven opened up

Last Friday, as we gathered as a community to seek God, He showed up in many ways that are difficult to describe.  People on our campus were saved, healed, and set free as God's hand reached down to us from heaven!

It all started during our pre-service prayer gathering.  There is a group of people (about 7 of us) that are on the "official" prayer team.  We offer people prayer up front after CCF on Friday nights.  We begin by meeting from 5-6pm to pray and worship.  At 6pm, one to two bible study groups (we call them cores) join us for our pre-service prayer.  As the prayer team, we're privileged to have the opportunity to minister to the cores that come.  We long to see them have a deep encounter with God and to experience an outpouring of His love!

After some worship near the beginning of the prayer meeting, someone from the prayer team felt a small nudge from the Holy Spirit.  He asked if anyone in the room recently injured their right ankle.  One girl said she sprained her right ankle recently and was going to ask for prayer that night when she came to the pre-service prayer.  What a coincidence (but not really)!  A couple people prayed for her, and she got completely healed!  She was also able to overcome some nervousness and share the testimony with our community of about 400 people later that night.  Praise God!

Later, during CCF, a few people from the prayer team shared words of knowledge during the closing worship - promptings by the Spirit to call people out of the group to receive prayer for specific healing.  There were specific words shared for people with pain in the right side of the jaw, a left wrist injury, someone feeling a spiritual "block", and maybe even more (I got caught up in praying for people!).  Right after I shared a couple words, I wasn't able to pray fast enough for people that were coming down.  At least four people came down with jaw pain, all from recent wisdom tooth removal or pain due to lack of wisdom tooth removal.  One person with a tweaked left wrist also came down for prayer, as well as people with spiritual "blocks", a person with stomach pain, and people seeking prayer for other things!

Let me backtrack just a bit - as I was holding the microphone, waiting for another brother to finish sharing something, I felt the presence of God come upon me more powerfully than ever before.  My right leg started shaking.  Not violently - more like twitching and giving out every once in a while.  The Spirit and love of God was so thick in the room.  You could feel it.  Everyone we prayed for expressed partial (some seemed to be very surprised!) or full healing!  We also had a few people baptized in the Spirit on Friday, as well as about 7-10 people saved in the last two weeks!  Glory to God!

God is certainly moving in this place.  I can't express my excitement of what is yet to come!

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