I just returned (Tuesday night) from our house church gathering in Granby, Quebec which was wonderful in every way, but will be taking the last couple of weeks of July off through August 7 to rest and attempt to work on the 'honey-do' list that has piled up. I'll still do my Weekly Thoughts and Facebook live as I'll be around the house for the most part, but will limit my email and Skype and Messenger communications.
In the 4 months between March 14 through July 18 I've been away the equivalent of 2 months, so you can imagine the need to rest and attend to home things.
I meet with my cardiologist on the 31st to discuss options as now that I've lost most of the weight he wanted me to lose with the blood pressure also falling into the more normal category, we can discuss the ablation of the nerve that is causing the A-fibrillation (AFib). Ablatian is where they thread an electrode through an artery and zap the nerve which should allow the rest of the electrical impulses to take over and hopefully have a normal heart beat. He also wants to discuss the 'reset' option, which is where they stop (my) heart and then a few seconds later use the paddles to start it again. I'm a bit hesitant with that option - I've been to heaven so that isn't the concern, it is for Chris and Barb's sake, so wisdom needed as we discuss those 2 options. Or do I do nothing and just live with it? Wisdom.
I'm not tired, fatigued, lack energy or anything like that with the AFib, but it has caused other issues or contributed to other issues which can be dealt with to a degree with medicine. But maybe the ablatian will make it so that no medicine is needed - that is where I ask you to pray for wisdom. I've seen the Lord now 3 times this year, 2 in meetings and once He came in the middle of the night when I was having some heart related symptoms and He encouraged me and told me 'you will live and not die', and then told me of things to happen between now and next September (2018)...so I am encouraged, but I don't want to miss it. Why He didn't just heal me in that visitation I don't know, but it is what it is so I ask for prayer.
New England regional conference, Manchester, New Hampshire, October 6-8
Use of Skype
We've always followed Paul's pattern in Acts and as seen in his letters that make up our New Testament, and part of that was the way they traveled back and forth visiting each other - city to city, nation to nation. Today we do that via car and jet, but also by Skype and Messenger. Here is an update from some ladies who first met at one of our conferences, but then have built on the friendships using regular Skype visits, Sharon writes:
"The Skype Sisters started out with Sharon and Dean from Arkansas, Betsy from Maine and Monique from Scotland. Since then, Ginette from Canada has joined us sporadically. And now Heidi and Heather (California) and Jenny from Finland are with us as often as they can join. We feel a strong sister connection to one another and the relationships grow deeper with each meeting. We all come away from the meetings feeling encouraged, uplifted, and that the Father has met with us."
"We have also started a group Skype text chat that we each can contribute to each day. it has been a huge blessing to each of use and especially when there is a need for emergency prayer. From the very first meeting we have been amazed at the answers and miracles that have occurred in answer to our prayers."
Recent cd and MP3 series
I want to encourage you to get last month's series 'God's Culture of Generosity' which has little if anything to do with giving money - it is about the Kingdom of God and the way the Father is, and therefore what He is trying to work in our own hearts. I've received several testimonies from people who said they were 'blown away' by that teaching, so if you hesitated getting it before, I'd encourage you to get it. Also the series packages offered this month would be a huge blessing to you, and include a couple of e-books.
Remember the vision of the slide?
Before the elections the Father showed me a vision of a child's playground slide. A man in a suit who I understood from what the Father said to be in the US Congress was trying to walk up that slide, holding onto the sides bent over, trying to go up - he would take a couple steps up then slide right back down to where he started. The Father then spoke to me and said that is what the Congress will be like, unable to get anything of real substance accomplished. The fact He set the vision in a child's playground told me they would be playing political games rather than doing the job they were elected to do.
So far that is what is happening. I also remember He said "The collapse will come when conservatives are in charge." I'm not sharing at this point the things the Lord told me a couple weeks ago when He came in the middle of the night and told me of things through September 2018, but I can tell you the last 2 years of the administration will be rough for many. (People always email me and say 'Can you just tell me the details' - The answer is no on this, don't ask please) Right now it is a matter for prayer as it was also coupled with things He said about the body of Christ.
For that part He talked to me about how many are in fact getting serious about their faith, about being in relationship with others, about growing in Him. He talked again of separation between those serious about growth in Him and in relationships with others, and those who wanted to stay where they are spiritually. There are things coming even this fall economically in the US that will shake some, but for others nothing will change as they are in strong relationships with others on the same spiritual page.
When He appeared to me on November 4, 2001 and told me "I want you to start a house church and house church network, and structure it in such a way to facilitate the development of house churches around the world", I asked Him why. His response was "It's against a time to come. It is provision against a time to come. Be a resource for them."
I realized at the time that would be a two-fold task. The first is good basic teaching without religious strings attached, just the ways of the Father and Son and Spirit. That is what my Weekly Thoughts are about, all my cd's, books, Facebook Live each Wednesday - I'm always looking for ways I can share the pure Word I've received by revelation, no man taught me, to bless and strengthen the body of Christ.
The other part is teaching and conferences and meetings about house church - not that the house is the focus - but the relationships of those who meet in homes is the focus. Family based churches that meet in homes, in relationship with others in a network of like-minded people. We now have - that is Church Without Walls international (CWOWI), now with affiliated house churches in about 3 dozen nations, is part of His provision for a time yet future. The larger mystery of the 'provision' is that we are each other's provision. The believers all connected on the same spiritual page, realizing Christ is in us and we are the church, in relationship with each other, looking out for each other. We are each other's provision just as we see in Acts.
When Jesus returns you can see His priorities from what He said of that time in Matthew 25:31-46, which says in part "I was thirst and you gave me drink, I was hungry and you fed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you visited me."
HIs priorities are people - He lives in us, Christ in us, the HOPE...when needs arise we provide hope and support for one another, meeting physical needs and emotional and spiritual.
Some thoughts on house church meetings
What we've found works is the Biblical pattern (Imagine that, just following the Bible) of rotating homes and rotating who leads each meeting. If house churches do not rotate who leads each meeting so that all who attend are used to sharing what is on their heart then they will become at most a hybrid version of the auditorium church merely meeting in the home. (Some 'house churches' not in our network have only maybe 3-4 men who share, 1 each week in 3 or 4 week rotation, and some have the same person share each and every week but call themselves 'house church' just because they meet in a house).
By sharing I mean being in charge of the meeting, not just participating, but opening your home and having to think through what you're going to share with a group of people gathered in your home - at first it sounds scary, but after 1 time you realize all you are doing among friends is sharing what God is doing in your life - it is that simple, that peaceful. From there the discussion and study and revelation just flow among those gathered.
The reason there is such peace is that you are free to share according to Christ in you. If you are an intercessor the Lord may have you lead everyone in prayer. If a teacher you may want to do a word study that you are currently studying in your own time. If you are an exhorter you may share a recent testimony of something the Lord did for you. If you are a worshipper you may want to lead everyone in worship - all that is fine, it is according to your own gifts - you don't have to be someone or something you aren't. Just be yourself.
We've had times when the host and leader for the day says "I don't have anything; it has been a busy week, so maybe we should just take prayer requests and go around laying hands on each other for those requests" - and those are some of the most powerful! We've often spent 90 minutes laying hands on each other, everyone involved sometimes having words from the Lord, and all come away touched and having received. Relax, Christ is in you, just share what He is doing in your life. Rotate homes, rotate who leads. Be the provision for others in this way. You are unique and Christ lives in you, so what you share will be unique in Him as well.
Closing thoughts - this has been a rough time financially as I've had lots of trips that don't pay for themselves, but each is an investment in the relationships, which are eternal. 200 years from now in heaven I'm not going to regret having invested thousands of dollars in these trips because the people we've invested in are in heaven, are thankful for those times together - atmosphere and earth may pass and change, but people are eternal, so each expense is really an investment reaping spiritual dividends. But if you can help this month getting us caught up it would be a huge help and blessing to us. Also keep me in prayer for wisdom. Chris has done well enough on these trips, I pick him up Friday for a couple days at home - he understood I had to go tell people about Jesus, so I know he shares in this ministry.
Blessings and thanks!
John and Barb