IHOP’s international onething conference in Egypt began today with approximately 3,000 attendees at the afternoon session and what seemed like double that amount of attendees at the evening session. Luke Wood led worship tonight, and a good part of his worship set was done in Arabic rather than English. He did a great job, and many of the people began cheering when he started singing in Arabic! Luke is leading again tomorrow morning, and then Justin Rizzo will be leading tomorrow night. He’s going to be singing in Arabic as well and is perhaps a bit more nervous than Luke, but I am sure he will do fine. They both have been practicing hard so that they can be a blessing to the worshippers who come.
Dwayne Roberts spoke tonight and had a translator with him speaking everything in Arabic. He did a great job and interacted with him very well. He spoke on the need for the knowledge of God and how we were meant to live in fascination with God. It was evident that many were deeply impacted by the message. Dwayne invited them all to respond to the Lord in a powerful ministry time.
After an uneventful and long 8-hour flight from Atlanta to Paris, and then another long 4 hour flight from Paris to Cairo, we’ve finally arrived in Egypt! There were no major hiccups along the way, and customs even went smoothly. Praise God!
The onething event is being held at a sports camp about halfway between Cairo and Alexandria in the middle of the desert. The camp has a covered soccer stadium that holds about 8,000 people, and they are expecting to come close to packing it out at the Friday’s bigger sessions. Everyone is buzzing with excitement about what God is going to do. Many believe that this gathering will be historic, gathering the most number of Arabic youth and young adults attending from around the area (including some from Dubai and Jordan) to a Christian meeting – something unprecedented for hundreds of years. What a privilege to be a part of something like this!
Tomorrow marks the beginning of my trek to Cairo, Egypt for the onething conference there. I'm super excited - I've never travelled internationally before! I'll be heading there with Luke Wood, Justin Rizzo, and other members of the onething team. Dwayne and Jen Roberts and Wes Martin will be speaking at the 4-day event, and we'll be leading worship many times (even a few times in Arabic, believe it or not). After the conference, we'll be ministering at a church in Cairo for a few days and doing a little bit of sightseeing before returning home.
We've received word that the conference will be drawing some 4,000 Egyptian young adults, possibly many more. It's truly a groundbreaking conference and they're estimating that it's probably going to be the largest gathering of Christian youth and young adults in Egypt since the monks back in the early first century.
I count it as an unbelievable privilege to go and serve the Egyptian church during this time. Our team has been praying for the conference and the Lord has really highlighted the issue of servanthood particularly to my own heart. It's so easy in our typical American consumer mindset to go somewhere, "do our thing", and take off. But I want to go and be among them as one who serves so that they see Jesus in me, just as Jesus came to serve and not to be served. Jesus loves the church in Egypt, so much so that scripture prophesies many things about the Lord's redeeming work in Egypt prior to and following Jesus' second coming. So to partner with them in servanthood is to partner with Jesus.
Well, after almost 2 years of the same website design, I figured it was time for a facelift and an upgrade to Drupal 6, the content management software that runs my website. I can’t begin to tell you how version 6 radically improves some of the features to make my site so much easier to manage and provide you with more relevant content!
First, some of the major changes in addition to the site’s facelift – you’ll notice a "music" section for prophetic musicians, including a page describing how I use my laptop on stage at IHOP – something many of you have been waiting for. I’ve added lots of new recommended resources, revamped the photo and audio section a bit, and added lots more ways to get my site’s content by RSS feeds.
I have not updated my page in a while, so I want to apologize to those of you who followed my blog on a regular basis. Regular postings will resume! With the time I would have used to blog over the past few months, I’ve rewritten much of the content on the "About" pages, because I wanted to bring some more biblical clarity to the calling of an intercessory missionary. In addition, many other intercessory missionary websites have just copied my content on that page directly, so I wanted to reword it with clear and simple language that was unique to my site.
It's been a long time since I've blogged! Wow.
I wanted to give those of you that were interested an update on my stolen laptop - it happened over a month ago when I was in Orlando for the onething conference.
The laptop was stolen directly from our "green room", the secured area in the host church where the worship team and speakers spend time briefing, praying, and eating our meals at the conference. I initially thought that the church's insurance company was going to cover my loss, but because of a series of logistical circumstances they are not able to. So, I'm back to raising funds to buy another Macbook Pro that is able to run all of my music software.
Well, I'm here in Orlando, Florida at the onething conference here, and Matt Gilman led worship tonight. It was a powerful time!
But the bad news is that my laptop was stolen out of the green room. (I'm using Justin Rizzo's laptop to write this...) I went to go worship in the auditorium for about 30 minutes and when I returned to the green room to get some water, I noticed that my laptop was gone.
I know this is an attack of the enemy, and I know that the Lord is watching how my heart responds in the midst of this little bump in the road of life.
I am confident in the Lord. He provided the laptop for me almost a year ago when my old one died, and I'm confident He will provide again or return the old one. My treasure is in heaven, and the things that I have in this life are nothing compared to what Jesus will reward me with on the day I see Him!
I bless whoever it is that stole my laptop! May the Lord bring conviction to your heart and then encounter you with His kindness and His goodness.
Well, it's been a while since I've traveled with onething, but this weekend I'll be in Orlando, Florida with Justin Rizzo and Matt Gilman for a regional onething conference. I'm thankful for the opportunity to play keys and travel with these guys. We'll be connecting with a bunch of the folks from OHOP, the Orlando House of Prayer as well.
I'm excited to get into some warmer weather with a bunch of people I love, serving them and the Orlando area through worship and prayer for a few days!
If you'll be in Orlando for the conference, find me and give me a high five! If you won't be there, pray for us this weekend!
To my loyal readers, friends, supporters, and lurkers - it's been a while since I've blogged, for two reasons:
1) I am currently helping as a teaching assistant for David Sliker's IHOPU 4th year class called "The Kingdom of God". It's a biblical overview of the kingdom of God from Genesis to Revelation. In short - the kingdom is an entirely future reality that will be manifest on this earth, where Jesus will sit in government over all of the nations of the earth in the same manner that David sat governing Israel. The kingdom of God is not a "spiritual" reality in the hearts of believers but a very "physical" reality yet to be manifest on the earth. I will definitely be blogging about the topic in the future as there's so much confusion in the body of Christ about it!
2) I have been working on a redesign of my website. I've had the same design for the past year and a half, and it needs a bit of a refresh. I'm also working on a boat-load of new content for it as well including new photos, teachings, downloads, audio, and a "gear" page describing how I use my Mac on stage at IHOP.
So with that in mind, is there anything in particular you want to see on my redesigned site? Leave me a comment!
Realistically it may be a couple more months before I get it launched, but I'm hoping to get the blog stream moving again once this class winds down in a week or so.
Thanks for staying tuned!
I don’t often write here on the signs of the times (not because I don't want to, but that's a subject for another day) but it’s been very interesting to watch how the media has been covering every single aspect of the world’s troubled economy recently. I’ve read articles on how it compares to the times of the Great Depression in the US in the early 20th century. I’ve also read practical articles on how to live off of $10 per day, and some humorous ones including how to make a prom suit out of duct tape.
It does not take any prophetic anointing to discern that that these times are putting a “strain” on the western consumer lifestyle. But it does take a heart that is “watching” (Mark 13; 1 Thessalonians 5) to see that it’s the Lord’s doing to shake us from our lethargy and to prepare us for Christ’s return. John Piper recently articulated this very well in several points that I’ll just summarize here, and then just point you to the actual sermon for you to read:
God has several reasons for today’s economic troubles:
- He intends for this recession to expose hidden sin and so bring us to repentance and cleansing.
- He intends to wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where there is always and only recession of the worst kind.
- He intends to relocate the roots of our joy in his grace rather than in our goods, in his mercy rather than our money, in his worth rather than our wealth.
- He intends to advance his saving mission in the world—the spread of the gospel and the growth of his church—precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it. This is how he guards his glory.
- He intends for the church to care for its hurting members and to grow in the gift of love.
But did you know that the Bible prophesies a drastic turnaround of today’s economic recession at some future time?
I came across this amazing quote from Thomas Dubay's book "Happy Are You Poor" and wanted to share it with you all.
“Plain honesty requires that we assert that the New Testament teaches an unblushing and uncompromising asceticism [simplicity], a hard road and narrow gate, a carrying of the cross every day, a renouncing of all that one possesses, a being rid of superfluities, and a dying with the Lord (Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 9:23; Luke 14:33; 1 Timothy 6:7-8; Romans 6:3-5). But it also teaches a rich, abundant human living, a complete and intense joy beyond understanding, a joy no one can take away, a rejoicing in the Lord always, a tasting of the very goodness of uncreated Beauty (John 10:10; John 15:11; John 16:22; 1 Peter 1:8; 1 Peter 2:3; Philippians 4:4).