Listening to Hillsong United: One Heart Revolution.
Like Bree's picture in the previous post, Luke and Nate on Gozo capture a bit of my heart for our kids amidst the nations. Luke is a singer, songwriter, dancer... seven year old triple threat... when he moves under the leadership of the Spirit I hold my breath... just beautiful to witness. And Nate is the strongest little juggernaut I've ever tried to pin down and tickle... little warrior adventurer - full of strength and justice. Nate has this Buzz Lightyear sword... and when he goes for it I have to run to get my Balian defender of Jerusalem sword... cause if I don't have my sword that kid will cut me down. We swing swords for an hour until Nate is nearly exhausted... sweaty and smiling, but he will not ever let go of that sword, and it's in my best interest to always be aware... WHACK!
Our kids will be free to be anywhere in the world and do anything with and for Jesus Christ - led by Him; leading more like Him; leading more to Him. They will learn this now. Pilgrimage is one of the greatest gifts we can give our kids. Besides our absolute devotion to they're becoming truly human and fully alive in Christ, we want our kids to grow up amidst the nations... here, there and everywhere in Jesus' name.
And what Dar and I are noticing is that we don't have to be in the nations for the nations to find us. It's like breathing. Our home is a place of peace... a place connected with the contemplation of heaven on earth... a portal of sorts... and they find us, those who are with him end up with us - the one's that he directs our way... and may that continue Jesus... may that continue to happen for the sake of all that you are in our home, and out there in the nations. It's a bit tiring following you, but I'm tired in such a good way... and a few moments by that quiet stream recharges my heart, soul, mind, spirit, joints and marrow... and it's not long before I'm ready to follow you into deeper water.
May we be examples for our kids, and all our friends - that we will continue to walk, run and dance fearlessly in the powerful loving name of Jesus Christ amidst every tower and gutter as our kids bike, run, wrestle and play on every street with no name with all their new friends - all over the world. Somewhere in the spiritual realm that unnamed street full of smiling kids will be paved with gold... even if it's in the middle of a dust bowl in Central Africa or the jungle of East Asia or stretched across the Himalayan mountain peaks. As long as it depends on us, maybe - just maybe, that street will be filled with tangible expressions of the love of God as well... so that nobody gets left behind... and every kid, all of humanity, actually has the opportunity to live and be loved all together... happy, healthy and whole before God who is the pure embodiment of love.
Joel Houston from inside the CD jacket of One Heart Revolution:"In November 2005, we stood in a stadium in Bogota, Columbia, with thousands upon thousands of people we'd never seen nor met before. We were about to hit the first note of the night when the power went out completely - no lights, no amplification, nothing but a whole lot of people together in the darkness. For a few awkward seconds I didn't know what to do as my heart skipped and I looked frantically for someone to sort it out. But before I had the chance to worry, I found myself caught up in one of the most incredible worship moments of my life: the people began to roar. It was a shout of praise that defied the present circumstances. It was more than hype, it went beyond a cheer, this was something else altogether. The people took over and we got swept up in it, the whole band joining in the shout, at one with the people. Nobody gave a second thought to anything other that the reason we were all there - to simply encounter God and bring glory to His Name."
I remember meeting Joel a couple of years ago in Calgary. We were in a green room and I was chatting with Phil Dooley regarding some Billy Graham stuff (at the invitation of Paul Kelly of Unite Productions). Joel was sitting across the room with his swollen ankle elevated, laughing with his buds about something. I got up, crossed the room and asked Joel what happened to his ankle. A surfing thing... I asked him if I could pray over his ankle... and as I sat next to Joel with my hands on his foot and ankle I saw a snapshot of my boy Luke surfing one day in Australia... and I thought how huge Joel's father's heart is for him... and the peace in that moment was like a thick warm blanket.
In the ninth grade, for a project in anthropology, I built an aboriginal village. I don't know why I chose to do a project on Australian Aborigines.. maybe it was partly because my parents took me to see Indian villages in Ontario... where I sat amidst the pow-wow's as a kid... all that music and chants, and drums, marveling wide-eyed at hearts minds and languages open wide to the Creator... amidst their traditions. Maybe, in building that Australian village in the ninth-grade I wanted to know how people all over the world lived and worshiped God.
On the Aborigine theme, few years back I was preaching to hundreds of youth at a week long camp... I challenged them to keep unbroken prayer in their chapel for 24 hours... and they did it. And at the end of that unbroken prayer meeting they held a spontaneous three hour worship session... It was after midnight in the midst of worship.. and I was sitting at the back of that large room... listening to all those kids full throttle into the throne room of their Father in heaven... and the Spirit just burst upon the place... and there I was sitting quietly at the back, a bit tired... but expectant... I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. And in a flash of a vision I was standing beside an old Aborigine man standing beside a rack of white robes and he said in a thick accent... "You must change your clothes!"
I was so startled I opened my eyes real wide and said to myself, "Wow, that was intense! What a vivid imagination I have." Just then, independently of one another, and all during the music and singing and dance... a young man came and stood over one shoulder and a young woman came and stood over the other shoulder and both laid one of their hands on one of my shoulders and the other hands they lifted before the Father. Ok, that was no coincidence... now there were three of us in that portal... So I closed my eyes again and there was the old man again, "You must change your clothes!"
I opened my eyes again, this time getting a bit more emotional... and the girl leading worship at the front of that place... right in the middle of whatever she was singing, led the band into a transition and then looked right at me, right through that whole sea of kids, and she said, "You know, Solomon in all his splendor wasn't dressed like a lily in a field - sometimes you just have to change your clothes."
And even as I type this now I'm crying... It's snowing in the mountains here today, right outside my window is a blanket of newly falling snow... "There is nothing like" is playing in the background... augh, I'm just bursting... so much fire coming up out of this cold dark night... I'm rocking a bit now... back to the vision...
So I took off my clothes and I put on one of those robes... and immediately I started to ascend the mountain city of God... whole mountain ranges full of a massive city of glorious light and love... so many levels... so many beautiful things... so many gorgeous people from every nation... and then I was out over the nations... cities... locations... and I would be taken to one, and then another... and you know what... I've been to many of those places since that vision... I've stood in many places globally and many more to come... and I saw them in that vision... and you know what I'm doing in those places amidst the people of God in those places... I'm proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ over the city, and the people of God, and the people who are yet to realize they belong to God already.
And I'll tell you this much... when United plays and sings I am in the very flow that first called me... something so very familiar about the DNA of this stuff, the flow that captivated my heart as a kid as I walked and prayed all those miles alone with God in my hometown of London, Ontario.
I didn't learn to walk all over cities and pray into every layer - by accident. I didn't pastor and shepherd and preach to youth in Churches and out on streets for ten years - by accident. I didn't work for Billy Graham for ten years - by accident. I wasn't discipled by Leighton Ford's (Billy's brother in law) Arrow Leadership Program - by accident. I didn't drink up all that spiritual theology James Houston taught me at Regent College - by accident. I didn't join forces with a 65 year old Canadian orphan who's father was an RAF pilot shot down over Normandy waters and who's grandfather was Chairman of the Trustee Savings Bank in the City of London - by accident. We are not going to raise up 10, 000 choice master cadets of the kingdom of God - by accident. Those 10, 000 won't lead hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands themselves into the wide open gates of heaven - by accident.
And as I share snippets of our growing story with you... please know, there is nothing accidental about these mounting kingdom waves for any of us. We can't slow down following Jesus Christ. We can't leave anyone behind. We are all in this together and we are anamchara - soul friends on the journey... everywhere in the name of our Father, through His Son, in His Spirit... dressed in His armor of Light. We already have everything we need in Him!