Eschatology and God’s Beauty – Keep the meat, spit out the bones

I’ve been wanting to express my frustration and excitement for some time now with respect to some of the revelation distributed to different places in the Body of Christ:

  • Excitement – fabulous revelation that will change how we think and usher us into new realms in God and new dimensions of the manifestation of His Kingdom concretely here on earth if we will just get this stuff into us at a heart level.
  • Frustration – people whom I respect, either personally or from afar based on their body of teaching and ministry, who contradict each other in aspects of their teaching. Contradiction is not necessarily a bad thing and is certainly not to be unexpected when groping to discover the Infinite God with finite minds and weak hearts. Where it becomes frustrating for me is the passion with which those “on one side” of a perspective categorize and label others.

Of course we all do it! 🙁 I was just in a church meeting Sunday afternoon where the diversity of perspectives, personalities and communication styles was exhilarating…which at first blush means: “Dang I wish they’d just shut-up!” I was seriously exhilarated and pleased by the diversity, but I was also seriously annoyed as a first reaction! 😉 As another example, just yesterday I was in the parking lot of a local supermarket waiting on Angela and Olivia who were inside shopping. While waiting I observed the stream of people arriving and leaving. One car caught my attention as it maneuvered slowly, directly in front of me, into it’s parking spot with its three occupants. You could see the visible signs of brokenness on what I supposed was a family. You could see where they needed a radical change of perspective and the gracious healing that only Jesus could bring. Unfortunately all of this “hindsight description” that sounds so spiritual manifests itself in my heart initially simply as “Ewww! What a depressing sight!” So, I admit, I put labels on people and I don’t do it with amazingly objective compassion and love.

That being said, when it comes to how we perceive God and His Kingdom I really think it’s important to realize that at the same time that we are being stunned by the depth and breadth of some revelation, our perception, our perspective, is really amazingly limited and small. I’ve attempted to represent it with an image in this mashup of clipart (ugly but I think it gets the idea across):

God and His Kingdom are so vast and multi-faceted that eternity will not be long enough for us to understand and experience everything. What I see/hear when I listen to/read about various revelations of who God is, how He acts, what His Kingdom is all about, etc. is more like this following image:

In this image, there is the logical realization that others do hold different perspectives, but over-simplification distorts reality and there is a tendency to lump all other perspectives into a few clearly defined camps that are then easier to dismiss. What happens then is that group “A” presents arguments as to why perspective “B” doesn’t really work. Group “A” will have some good points about their objections, but will neglect the fact that “B” is not really summed up that easily and that there are groups that they’ve lumped into “B” that hold to certain facets of that perspective but are really based on perspective “C”, etc. The fact of the matter is, that one needs to sink deep into the perspective of the other to see what they see and understand what they understand. I think when walking a mile in another man’s moccasins, we often stop after about 100 yards and are pretty sure our conclusions won’t change…forgetting how many miles we had to walk to gain our perspective.

So with that little soapbox dealt with, I want to present two different series of teachings. One is Martin’s Scott’s fabulous, line-upon-line presentation of a “framework” for developing an eschatological perspective broken down into 40 (that’s right 40! ) 15-minute podcasts. Both the podcasts and their transcripts can be found on his great and lively blog site (worth connecting with): https://3generations.eu/blog/?page_id=2640

The other is one of Mike Bickle’s many teaching series. Mike and the worshiping intercessors at IHOP in Kansas City have focused a LOT on eschatology in the last 10 years. They have come to many different conclusions than has Martin (who is more interested in creating a healthy framework for interpretation than to be rigid in interpretation). There are many other series specifically on the End Times on Mike’s site, but I chose one called “The Beauty Realm of God“, which is 8, 1-hour messages specifically on Revelation 4-5. The reason is that this series lays the foundation for the IHOP “framework” of how they view eschatology. So you kind of have two different “eschatological interpretation frameworks” if not really two different rigid eschatology theologies. I think they are both valuable to explore… deeply …as they both include rich, rich truth not presented in the other. You’ll have to deal with some unresolved tension however as there are definitely conflicting aspects to what they’ve concluded based on their perspectives.

Feminine and Masculine in Left and Right – the Church in the gap

Just recently Angela finished a book called Crisis in Masculinity by Leanne Payne . It’s not a particularly new book but it’s still very timely. I just finished reading it myself today. I’d heard a teaching on the masculine and feminine by Gus Hunter about 7 years ago. The whole perspective of “masculine” and “feminine” is so pervasive when it’s fresh in your mind but when it’s not so fresh, it’s easy to miss.

So, the other day, I watched this TED Talk by David McCandless called “The Beauty of Data Visualization.” Totally cool stuff that opened my eyes to this new world of “Data Mining + Graphic Design = New Perspectives.” Anyway, one of McCandless’s visualizations is not strictly based on a data set but his own observations of Left and Right in the political spectrum. Though he’s obviously British, it seems that his focus is more on American politics. Anyway, I printed out the full graphic that you can find at: https://www.informationisbeautiful.net/leftvright_world.html and was studying it when Angela walked up and said, “that’s the masculine and feminine.”

Bingo!

It’s as if a whole new perspective of what bugs me about American politics just descended from heaven to help me see better.

To understand why, you have back up a bit and understand a bit of what masculine and feminine is, and is not. For example, masculine is not male and feminine is not female. As C.S. Lewis states, “…Masculine and Feminine meet us on planes of reality where male and female would be simply meaningless…” Male and female are labels given to concrete objects or lifeforms which manifest predominantly masculine and feminine traits or characteristics respectively. So, to say, masculine is male represents a misunderstanding of the two concepts, whereas to say male is masculine would be an accurate generality. One “distillation” of masculine and feminine that helps me is: the masculine initiates and the feminine responds. This is a HUGE over-simplification, but I think it holds true as a foundation of understanding this concept. Probably the other foundational truths that are necessary in understanding masculine and feminine are:

  • God is both masculine and feminine
  • We are created in God’s image
  • Human marriage, as conceived in the heart of God, is the earthly representation of masculine and feminine coming into living, transcendent unity

So, back to McCandless’s (amazing – really spot on) diagram and American politics. Being geographically outside of American politics has helped me see new dynamics that I had difficulty discerning while on American soil and swimming (drowning?) in American culture. My changes in perspective after 10 years abroad have, I think, made my family back home think I’ve “gone liberal” on them. What I’ve rejected from my background is not a right-wing political perspective. Rather, it’s a rejection of a dualistic, antagonistic and confrontational way of “doing politics.” This has led me to rail against the 2-party system as inherently screwed up because of the need to choose half-truths and then justify your choice. The fact that this political malaise is so deeply entrenched in the American Body of Christ (on both sides) makes it that much more disturbing to me.

When Angela labeled McCanndless’s diagram as a manifestation of masculine and feminine, I began to rethink this issue of the 2-party system and the spiritual state of America in general. This quote from Payne’s book then began to take on new significance for me (strikeouts and bolds mine):

Invariably when a soul nation needs healing there will be an imbalance within of the masculine and the feminine. He or she It is tipping the scales too far toward one extreme of the continuum. This imbalance of the power to initiate and the power to respond can always be healed when a person people forsakes his their vision and will in separation from God (what the Scripture calls dying to the old man), comes into the Presence, and there unites with the incredible realities outside himself itself.

What makes the separation of the masculine and feminine work in humanity is when it’s brought together in a complementary fashion. The highest earthly form of this is human marriage. When it works, it’s because one is turned toward the other in sacrificial love and appreciation of the other. The result is transcendent! This requires effort and grace based on love. God is the one who empowers it, enabling us to manifest on earth a glimpse of the Trinity. Without this grace and love, we don’t expend the effort…at least not with any perseverance. The result is, as Payne suggests, a move toward opposite ends of the masculine/feminine continuum. Remembering our ultra-concise definition of “initiate” and “respond”, we can see that initiation becomes domination and masculine is twisted into macho. On the other side, response becomes rebellion and feminine is twisted into feminist. The result is the American political system as you see it today with the Left at war with the Right. The result is also how America is seen around the world depending on which extreme of the continuum is currently “manifesting.”

Well, if Payne’s quote is right, healing is available, but I for one, have a hard time imagining American halls of power ringing with the songs of worship from a gathering of legislators, judges and executive branch members as they “come into the Presence.” Where does that leave us? Well, I think this brings us to the Body of Christ and 2 Corinthians 5:16-20. Just as God has already provided through Jesus complete reconciliation for every individual, and the Church is tasked to announce and minister that reconciliation to all creatures, it radiates out from individuals to marriages, families, communities and yes, even nations and political factions within nations.

My question is, if the Church is focused on political realities and is deeply allied with various political factions, how can it broker heavenly realities and in intercession stand in the gaps created by those political factions?! It can’t!

It is the job of mankind to steward God’s creation during our time on the earth and by our place on the earth (Genesis 1:28, Acts 17:26-27). This job is distributed amongst people groups and nations who have this stewardship responsibility over particular parts of God’s creation. To put it another way, God holds the United States responsible for what transpires on its soil and how it comports itself among the nations. Is He looking to elected officials to actually carry this out? In a measure, yes. Ultimately, however, He is looking to His Body on earth to broker heavenly realities on earth so that the reconciliation that He died for would be manifested on every level and in every sphere. Jesus gave the authority to His Church to disciple nations. So, to restate, God is holding the Church in the United States responsible for what transpires on its soil and how the United States comports itself among the nations. The ability of the Church to do this in fullness requires a reconciliation of the masculine and the feminine at levels that the Church doesn’t seem to be realizing right now and for which it doesn’t seem to have a grid.

So, can the 2-party system work? Yes it can work, if those two sides “marry” and become one (Genesis 2:24). I think there is a “prophetic possibility” that is tantalizing here to see the masculine and feminine really complementing each other in this context. Can this happen if the Church doesn’t understand its role and responsibility to “minister” reconciliation and facilitate this “marriage”? I don’t think so. If it did, it would be glorious, and the greatest miracle would be that the Church finally understood its calling!

Bill Johnson’s series on the Transformed Mind

In July, 2010 Bill Johnson, the pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California began a series of messages on the Transformed Mind. I’ve no idea (nor maybe does he!) if this series is even over yet, but here are the teachings that I think are part of this series (he sometimes interrupts his series to teach on something else). If I find more, I’ll add them here.

At any rate, this is powerful stuff! One of the things that I like about it is that it is not the transformed/renewed mind message that I’ve heard so much, which is basically:

Meditate on scripture so you won’t think bad thoughts!

While there’s truth to that, it’s not terribly motivating for the long-haul and frankly, it doesn’t make for a stirring message! 😉

Bill’s approach, while wide-ranging and deep, seems to focus more on what he terms “pillar truths.” These are truths that once they’re in place, allow us to properly “triangulate” our way through the rest of the truths (or lies) that come our way so that we maintain a perspective that is godly…things like (not an exhaustive list):

  • the love of the Father
  • our complete righteousness in Jesus
  • the completed work of the Cross
  • living under an open heaven
  • the Church/Body of Christ brokering heaven’s reality on the earth

Living with minds firmly established in pillar truths allows us to aggressively filter the other perspectives that we’re continually assaulted with and allows us to walk in a different reality that is not just for us but is projected around us.

OK, as the French would say, ” enough blah, blah! “, here are the messages:

Transformed Series – Really Saved – mp3 – 20.5Mb

Transformed Series – From Glory to Glory – mp3 – 23Mb

Transformed Series – Gate of Heaven – mp3 – 23Mb

Transformed Series – The Real Jesus – mp3 – 23Mb

Transformed Series – The Power of a Seed – mp3 – 21Mb

Here’s the last one in the series…a powerful message about being the Bride. Very interesting to hear the same things from Bill Johnson that I’ve heard from Mike Bickle and IHOP for years, but from a different perspective. Very good.

Transformed Series – Being a Bride – mp3 – 17Mb

And finally (I think) an added bonus. This is a talk Bill recently gave to the students of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. It’s not specifically in the series nor only about the transformed mind, but it does cover that and is very complementary. Excellent stuff.

BSSM Bill Johnson November 2010 – mp3 – 38.4Mb

Regular Expressions in Notepad++

I’ve always found regular expressions to be a real un-intuitive mind-bender. I’ve had some very limited success in using them…mostly in a linux command-line grepping situation where I had some very good examples to work from and had no other choice…i.e. I was FORCED to use them. I’m a programmer. I’m a database administrator. I enjoy coding and writing weird SQL! But I’ve never been able to get my head around regular expressions…never really wanted to. See my blog post about my laziness with regular expressions. 😉

I’ve been using Notepad++ for some time now and have sort of a love-dislike relationship with it because it’s very powerful…but some things, notably macros don’t exactly work like I’d want them too…and sometimes, I really think they’re buggy.

Today, I needed to take a list of e-mails and, for each email take the part before the ‘@’ and copy it at the of the line with a tab in between.

So, to start with I have a list of emails like this:

lkjshdflkhsf [at] lkjhsdf [dot] com
oiuyeruyq [at] iuywer [dot] com
nbxvnxbv [at] mnbcx [dot] com

At the end I need lines like this:

lkjshdflkhsf [at] lkjhsdf [dot] com[TAB]lkjshdflkhsf
oiuyeruyq [at] iuywer [dot] com[TAB]oiuyeruyq
nbxvnxbv [at] mnbcx [dot] com[TAB]nbxvnxbv

If you’ve ever had to move contacts from one piece of software to another you may have come across this problem to create an import file for the destination. If Notepad++ macros worked in every situation, I’d have been able to use them, but they would simply “malfunction” on me and not allow me to accomplish this. So I played with regular expressions and became aware of how you can “tag” parts of your search expression and then refer to those tagged portions of text in your replacement string to allow you to move things around and copy things. Really good regex info can be found on the Notepad++ wiki here: https://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/notepad-plus/index.php?title=Regular_Expressions.

So to accomplish this I was able to use the Notepad++ Search/Replace dialog in “regular expression” mode like this:

notepad_regex_example.png

In the image, you can see that in the FIND expression, you have two sections in parentheses. This is how you tag a portion of a string, by putting the expression within parentheses. For the first piece, it tags the part between the beginning of the line, signified by the “^” (caret) character and the “@”, signified by itself. The “dot asterisk” means:

  • dot = any character
  • asterisk = zero or more times

I’ve shaded that yellow. Then the second section that I’ve tagged is between the “@” and the end of the line, signified by the “$” (dollar sign). I’ve shaded it orange.

Now, in the replacement, you can refer to these tagged areas by “1”, “2”, “3”, etc….simply the order in which they appear gives them an ordinal number. You can then refer to them in the replacement string several times if you wish.

I’m still quite the noob in regular expressions and much more can be done with them. But, I found this particular example to be something that I can definitely build on in the future and hope that you can too.

The “structure” of the Body of Christ…a family

I’ve sort of had a love-hate relationship with Kris Valloten’s messages (no offense Kris, if I ever meet you! 😉 ). His humor, often self-effacing, is engaging but sometimes one can detect what seems a sort of lack-of-confidence defensiveness in his delivery. I have to overcome that to get to the good stuff of his messages…and there is really good stuff!

At any rate, recently two messages of his were posted at Bethel Church in fairly rapid succession (Bill must have been traveling a lot!) and they really struck me. The first one is on the 5-fold ministry from Ephesians 4:11 and the second was on Fatherhood, which he gave on Father’s Day. For me these two messages really dovetailed together with things that God’s been speaking to me about.

Several times this spring, I’ve heard extended teaching on spiritual parents/children and about the generational transfer of inheritance. Tied with that is the honoring of our preceding generation and succeeding generations. Tied with that is honoring the special graces that God has placed on each individual person. Tied with that is receiving God’s unique graces through each other. This may be one of the key messages that God is emphasizing in the Body of Christ right now. It certainly is one of the messages that is being emphasized to me and in our community of faith here in France.

There is a sense that God desires to pour out a special “grace”, “anointing”, “blessing” (pick your pregnant term) on His Body in order to impact our society more significantly. The amount of this impartation is what is in the balance. The amount needed to really facilitate change and advance God’s Kingdom is more than individuals can handle…it would crush them. Picture someone with no foundation in their life winning the lottery. We see it over and over again with the real lotteries and with young professional sports “first-round-draft-picks”. The enormous blessing becomes a curse. Lives of promise become a parody of success at best and end tragically at worst.

God NEEDS to pour out an enormous blessing on His Church in order for them to be the Kingdom agents He called them to be (way back even in Genesis 1:28!) How does He do it and not crush us? He needs to pour out His blessing “corporately.” This is not of course meaning on a “business.” In fact if you look at the word “corporately”, you see the Latin root “corp-“, which means “body”.

Sum it up:

  • God has chosen to draw the world to Him as a loving Father, King of all Creation, to live in loving, family relationship with benevolent stewardship of His Creation
  • God has chosen to use His Son Jesus as the perfect image of the Father and the only way into relationship with the Father
  • Jesus’ body on earth is the Church…agents of His Kingdom and His image-bearers in Creation
  • His Body on earth is His principal agency of connection between the spiritual and physical realms…those who are tasked with bringing Heaven to earth
  • Jesus put His Spirit in us, the spark of life that gives us the possibility to live and function as members of One Body and to be coordinated with the Head…Jesus

At this point then, we’re only “saved individuals” with simply a potential to be effective agents of God’s transforming power in Creation. It’s a pretty good deal, but it’s not enough. The kind of power we need to wield in order to affect the changes needed in Creation is simply too much for us as individuals. God desires to pour out His power, but He’s made us in such a way that we’re unable to effectively carry His power as individuals. He values family and relationship too much to allow us to simply “do tasks” and be rewarded for it…as individuals.

As a corporate body, however…

As a family, however…

That’s another story and that’s where these two teachings by Kris Valloten come in. I encourage you to learn about the “authority structures” that facilitate the impartations of grace that we need in his teaching on the 5-fold ministry and the “family structures” that establish love in our hearts and honor for one another that cause us to flow together as more than an a well-oiled machine or an organization, but an organism…a body…a family. When this occurs, we become vessels ready for God’s poured-out blessing, His anointing, His transforming power. We, as a body, as a family, are then positioned to live as transforming agents of our Father’s Kingdom…our destiny all along.

Fatherhood (mp3 24Mb) (link to watch as video on Bethel’s site – free registration required)

The role of the 5-fold ministry (mp3 26Mb) (link to watch as video on Bethel’s site – free registration required)

The account is in the black, make a withdrawal!

Here are two recent (February 2010)teachings by Bill Johnson from Bethel Church that I think dovetail quite nicely in giving us a sense of God’s purposes right now and how we posture ourselves to plug into it and become a conduit for it. Bill speaks specifically to his congregation, but the offer is always there: if this resonates with you, take it for yourself and your context…family, work, school, city, region, etc. If you’re aware of what God is doing in any space/time intersection , and that begins to resonate with you, what you’re feeling is God saying, “Yes! That’s for you too! Reach out and possess and pursue that particular promise right now!” God’s goodness and breakthrough power is always for now but we have to “plug into” that flow in some way to access it…the mechanics of “how” being less important than stepping out in some way, saying, “Yes Lord! I agree, I’m reaching out and laying hold of that purpose and promise!

Unclouded Sky (mp3 21Mb)

The Spirit of Breakthrough (mp3 20Mb)

Got your sail up for 2010?

Have you caught the force of God’s wind for you for this year? This decade? While I think that vision and plan like an airline itinerary is probably the exception, I do believe that because God wants us to regularly come to Him for loving communion and Kingdom direction that He gave us times and seasons. They are a gift to us propel us in regular movement towards His heart; into His embrace; forward in Kingdom advancement, etc.

So, for me the turn of the year is a special time of anticipation to catch the wind of the Spirit for the coming year and to more fully understand the year that just passed. What did 2009 make possible? What does 2010…indeed the whole decade…hold for us?!

In addition to hearing directly from the Lord Himself, our Father desires that His children listen to each other…(that’s what friends and brothers and sisters do…it’s called relationship). So, I’m a big fan of regular listening to voices that I know are pressing into the Lord’s heart. They have keys that will help me unlock doors.

If you don’t already have your collection of sources that speak to you, you’re welcome to mine!

Here’s a message from Bill Johnson called “The Power of a Promise” speaking about Isaiah 45:1-3 and the life that God puts on a word that He give you. This is a passage that Bill feels is important for this year. Then there are several blog posts with various prophetic voices and discussions about 2010 and a link to the archives of the OneThing conference that happens at the turn of every year in Kansas City. Why don’t you post links to sources that have spoken to you in the comments? The wind of the Spirit is blowing for 2010. Get your sails up!

The Power of a Promise by Bill Johnson (MP3 17.7MB)

2010: from Paul Leader

2010, oil, and all things related 2010 and the year of the Lord’s freedom

What lies ahead?So what about 2010?

which way the prophetic directions for 2010? The new year, snow and fresh communication routes…

onething’09 Conference Archives

Oh my gosh! Got Bickle?!

I am so excited!

IHOP just did something truly fabulous and incredible!!! (yes The Prayer Room web stream is now free…which is totally cool…but that’s not it).

I have to back up a little bit…

In 1999, we did our YWAM training (DTS) in Hainichen, Germany. Almost every morning during our DTS, as part of my personal devotions, I’d listen to one side of a cassette tape of a 20-part Bible teaching series. The series was The Life of David by Mike Bickle. I don’t think I can overstate how much that impacted me as a teaching and as the beginning of a powerful habit in my life…listening and re-listening to very good and deep teaching messages…almost daily. Then it was on cassette and I relished long car rides when I could listen to several in a row and just get lost and immersed in the subject matter. Now it’s while I do the dishes every morning using the mp3 player on my cell phone.

After the Life of David, I discovered two other 20-part series by Mike Bickle: The Song of Solomon and The Bride of Christ Later I collected CDs and DVDs of mp3 teachings. Most were from IHOP. Then I discovered some other good sources on the Internet. Then Bethel came along. Morningstar is in there too….but it all started with these teaching series from Mike Bickle. They made me the junkie that I am today…and along the way they helped to transform me as they transformed and energized my theology and my spirit.

I’ve had my copies, collected over the years and carefully stocked on my computer. As I’ve come across individual teachings that have impacted me, I’ve tried to place them here on this blog as a way to share them. I always hesitated to put the whole 20-part series up though. IHOP trumpets often that their “copyright is the right to copy” and certainly they’ve been extremely liberal with their teaching notes. But I was never quite sure since they’ve continued to sell a good percentage of their teachings from their site, and never posted their longer series… until now!

Now, all these great, in depth, transformational series are on-line for free access at a new IHOP sister site for resources specifically from Mike Bickle.

So, I urge you to head over to Mike Bickle’s Teaching Series page and begin…somewhere! Anywhere! Start to listen. Re-listen! Then download the notes and go through them in your personal study time. It will change your life!

Don’t return to your regularly-scheduled programming! Make 2010 different! I know that the last decade, with liberal doses of these teachings for meditation, has changed me radically. I think the next one will change me too. I encourage you to jump on the bandwagon!

Happy listening!

A corporate anointing on a company of people to change a city

This is the time of year when we reflect and hear from the Lord about His heart for the coming 12 months. (God Himself is not bound by time, but He gives it to us as a gift to keep us on the journey with Him and to help us move “from glory to glory” [2 Cor 3:18]. So, while time is not necessary for Him, I believe that it is necessary for us and important for us.)

While it’s not a new message, I feel that for our assembly of believers, EGLISE JOSUE in Guebwiller, France, 2010 is a year in which we are called to come into a new revelation and experience (words that actually should be inseparable, but in Western thinking are separate):

  • of our corporate identity
  • in order that we could carry a corporate anointing
  • in order that we could come along side our city (Guebwiller and the surrounding area)
  • in order that we would bless the city
  • in order that the city would become a blessing to the nations

In this audio teaching from Bethel Church in Redding, CA, Bill Johnson explains how God needs a company of people, as opposed to an individual, in order to pour out a blessing and an anointing sufficiently powerful to facilitate transformation of a city or a region. The level of blessing and anointing necessary would crush an individual, but a company of believers who are walking in unity of honest heart relationships can successfully steward such a measure of grace.

I encourage liberal quantities of this teaching while praying for your church and your city. I think this is a word for us specifically, but the same Holy Spirit is undoubtedly saying the same thing specifically to many believers around the world. Start praying and proclaiming the end result now: Jesus, make name-your-city a blessing to the nations!

Practical Steps to Change the World (mp3 9.5Mb)

Oral Roberts: a Wide Swath

Oral Roberts: R.I.P 1918-2009

I graduated from Oral Roberts University so my connection with Oral Roberts is perhaps slightly more direct than most people’s. I have a little more context to understand this fairly enigmatic man, but I believe it’s what I’ve been learning in the last 5-10 years that has given me a greater appreciation for him. His methods have often put him at odds with many people, but I believe his impact for the Kingdom has been undeniable and is worth honoring.

In recent years I’ve become interested an excited to greater and lesser degrees by various movements an teachings. Here is a sampling:

  • 24/7 prayer
  • Making the supernatural a natural part of life
  • God is a good god in a good mood
  • Sowing and reaping
  • Christian education
  • Healing
  • etc.

As I look back at Oral Roberts, I see that, while the language and practice might have a different “look n’ feel”, he pioneered all of these things in a big way LONG before I ever got on the band wagon.

  • ORU has had 24/7 prayer in their Prayer Tower since well before the world-wide “prayer movement”
  • “Expect a Miracle” was a foundation slogan of Oral Roberts’ ministry. It was even printed on the basketball court in the arena at ORU! (and sometimes miracles were needed there…and sometimes they happened!)
  • “Something good is going to happen to you” was the theme song of Oral’s TV show. Expectation in God’s goodness was an integral part of what he was about
  • “Plant a seed to meet your need” was another famous Oral Roberts slogan. Sure the “prosperity gospel” muddied those waters somewhat, but Oral’s main book “The Miracle of Seed-Faith” could easily have been written by some recent teachers that I have heard and respect.
  • Right now we’re amongst “pioneers” in Christian Education in the Francophone world. Having a “Christian University” is in our vision here and is considered as the pinnacle of the vision. Oral Roberts University was preceded by MANY Bible colleges and seminaries and many Evangelical colleges and universities existed before ORU, but ORU was probably the first liberal arts university where the Holy Spirit was honored specifically and encouraged to move freely. Sometimes messy…but hey, God’s creative activity often is!
  • Hello! Healing?! Well, duh! Actually, it’s not been until recently that healing has been “redeemed” in my eyes. But one cannot deny Oral Roberts’ place in paving the way for praying for the sick and watching God move powerfully.

Many have said that the era of the “big name” ministries is coming to an end and I think that I agree with that in general. I do think, however, that there are “Paul Bunyan” types who make a way for others to follow. They don’t “walk softly”, which means their faults are also out there for all to see and if you’re cynical, you’ll have plenty of fodder to work with. They do, however, make an impact. They swing their ax and clear a path and take new territory. Many people benefit from their efforts. We don’t realize the debt we owe to so many pioneers.

Oral Roberts was such a man.