Today, a Facebook friend shared about a friend of hers who is involved in some questionable spiritual practices. My friend is rightfully concerned about this person and said that she was praying for her. Someone commented on my friend’s post, urging her to “delete” this person, adding that “the enemy comes thru her to you”.
I know this attitude is rampant in the Body of Christ. It drives me crazy. Can you see Jesus, or Paul, or Peter, running and hiding from someone practicing divination? In fact, Paul had to bring deliverance to a demon possessed girl who was doing psychic readings, and Peter was confronted with Simon the sorcerer, who he rebuked, not for his sorcery (Simon had become a disciple) but for trying to buy the power of God. Of course they weren’t afraid of them, or anybody! Where did this fear that is rampant in the Body come from? I have my theories…
As for my friend’s concern, my own perspective is slightly different. Salem MA has been a second home to me for 10 years and I lived there for almost two. I have friends who are witches. I go to New Age and other festivals where I encounter people involved in questionable spiritual practices all the time. I haven’t become jaundiced to it. Of course it’s dangerous. Life is dangerous. I can’t speak to my friend’s state of mind on this, but in the Body of Christ there is a strong and irrational tendency to expect non-Christians to behave like Christians, or at least how we are supposed to behave. This is counterproductive to trying to present the kingdom to the world around us. I am not a moral referee (I don’t think my friend sees herself that way either). My responsibility is to be Jesus to people, and as I search and search the gospels, I consistently see Jesus leaving people to their choices. He never pushes. He insists on nothing. He presents moral specifics when asked, or when the people sit at his feet in anticipation. I try to do the same.
But this fear believers have! This fear that darkness will overwhelm their light! It’s not how it works. We have only one enemy and that enemy has been defeated. We are sent to serve, embrace, and love people. Well, except for witches and satanists and psychics. Um, no, them too.
My fiancee called me at six 0’clock this morning to ask me if I had heard that Donald Trump had been elected president.
Yolanda, I have come to learn, is quite prophetic. She often sees into situations with prophetic clarity and often knows things that are going to happen. She’s aware of this ability but she’s (thankfully) completely lacking in any of the silly “christianese” assumptions about it. She’s generally quiet and introspective about what she knows ahead of time.
She’s known Trump would be the next president. But unlike so many Christian prophets who think they know how this works, but, in my opinion, don’t, she hasn’t been declaring Trump to be God’s man to save America. Yeah, she’s a keeper.
Is it really God who sets up the world’s kings and leaders? Yep. It sure is. Does that mean it’s His will? Nope. It’s our will, collectively speaking, not necessarily His.
Though Yolanda knew who the next president would be (I myself was sure he would lose), she is not happy about it, and neither am I. She would not be happier if Clinton had won, and neither would I. How in the world did we end with up with two such reprehensible choices? I think it’s the wrath of God.
The wrath of God is defined and described in Romans 1, particularly in verse 28: “…even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind…”. Ezekiel 22:31 says, “…their own way have I bought upon their heads…”. In other words. God gives to the rebellious and disobedient exactly what they want. So as far as what comes from God’s hand, this wrath is gentle, though we humans may do very ugly things with it. It also doesn’t really violate our will. I’ve noticed that God rarely does that.
Now, I’m not saying that this wrath is directed at people who don’t know God, and I’m not saying it isn’t. My focus is on those claiming to be following God. I think it’s a grievous error to claim to know God, but not know His mind, and when that happens, it is the prophetic voices who must bear the most responsibility.
I can’t be completely sure I know what God is thinking, but I know what I’m thinking. I know I’m a prophet, but I also know I’m sometimes wrong. I am angry at those supposed prophetic voices, and those who point to them, who were declaring that God had raised up Donald Trump to “make America great again” and are now celebrating his victory. You think God set him up to be president? Yes, I believe He did. So you think it necessarily follows that he is God’s choice? No, you’re wrong. he is YOUR choice. YOU bear the responsibility for what is to follow. I don’t know what that will look like, and I am not, personally, afraid. But I heard loud and clear what Yolanda said to me this morning:
“Something bad is about to happen”.
With just one outreach left for 2016, another year of doing dream interpretations, spiritual readings, inner healing, and trying to love people as Jesus did – and does – is almost over. I’m already planning for next year. As best I can remember, these are the outreaches I did this past year:
February: Body, Mind, Spirit Expo. A New Age event in Raleigh, NC.
March: Another New Age fair in Raleigh, the name of which I don’t remember.
May: Burning Nest, a Burning Man sanctioned transformational festival, otherwise known as a “regional Burn”, in Port Talbot, Wales.
June: How The Light Gets In, a music and philosophy festival in Hay-on-Wye, England,
followed by the Summer Solstice festival at the Stonehenge Campground and at Stonehenge near Amesbury, England.
July: The Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, NC
August: Three Days of Light, a transformational festival in Ferguson, NC.
October: Haunted Happenings, a month long Halloween celebration in Salem MA.
Upcoming in November: Health and Wellness Weekend, a three day, mostly New Age fair in Lyons Falls, NY.
I worked with various teams of amazing people at each of these. My plan is to repeat all of them and add at least two more besides: Transformus, a regional Burn near Asheville, NC; and, a possible return to Burning Man after a hiatus from that festival this year. I may also add one or two festivals in the UK as well. I have new ideas for some of these, primarily the transformational ones, that I’m pretty excited about. For several of the festivals I go to, I join with Papy Fisher, and his amazing group of young people that he has discipled. Papy always adds hospitality, usually in the form of food, to the mix of ministry. The increase in effectiveness this adds can’t be overstated: It’s invaluable to forming meaningful relationships with people, and that’s really what ministry is all about.
Festival ministry isn’t easy. It’s a lot of work, it’s kind of expensive and the festival environment isn’t for everyone. You have to be a little tough, and more than a little crazy and wild, and though we tend to be willing to work alongside anyone who wants to be a part, there are those I personally have discouraged from getting into it. There are pitfalls and temptations and we have suffered a few casualties over the years. But we’re always on the lookout for good, tough recruits, or seasoned veterans to join us.
Festivals are changing the world. There is a huge number of festivals all over the world, and yet the Church either ignores them or is completely unaware of them. That’s probably a good thing, since being crazy and wild isn’t exactly encouraged in the church, generally speaking. Maybe you’re crazy and wild enough. If so, let’s talk. Maybe you’d like to start your own festival ministry team. If so, we can train you and your people – or just give advice.
Currently, I’m looking to create a small team of people for Burning Man 2017, which is pretty much recognized as the ultimate transformational festival. With over 70,000 participants in the Nevada desert, it is (I believe) the largest such festival in the world. And while it’s still many months off (“The man burns in 304 days!”), planning needs to start now. Tickets usually go on sale in January. It isn’t cheap. and it’ll test you. But for many festival people, it is their favorite festival. I think it is my favorite. Do you think this is something you could do? Let me know.
How can I help you? Do you have a dream you need interpreted? Do you need healing for trauma or emotional wounds, or do you just feel “stuck”? Are you part of a group that is interested in prophetic evangelism and outreach? I offer personal ministry, in person or via Skype, and personal or group training.
Man, this election! Like a lot of people, I’ve gotten into some intense conversations and Facebook threads about it. My comments have mostly been toward Trump, but not because I think he’s worse than Clinton. These candidates are each SO bad that talking about one being worse than the other seems ridiculous. They’re bad! REALLY bad! On any reasonable scale for rating candidates’ qualification, both of these would be WAY into negative numbers.
Actually, my focus on Trump doesn’t have much to do with concern about who our next president is going to be. Both candidates are prone to be despots, and I don’t have a preference as to what KIND of despot I come under. I despise any kind. Our wonderful experiment in self-governance has wrecked on the rocks while we were busy not paying attention. Sad as that is, it has not been where my hope lies since becoming a Christian. My focus on Trump comes from my deep concern for the Church, primarily Evangelical Christianity, because that is my tribe.
I’ve been hearing “prophecies” declaring Trump to be God’s choice to save the nation. I’ve heard the bizarre justification for supporting this clown (Hmm. I wonder if the current clown sightings is prophetic?) that God can use Pharaoh or Cyrus, or a donkey (let’s not confuse a donkey with an ass).
First of all, if and when God uses a seriously flawed man or woman to rule over a people, that is not a good thing. It means something evil needs to be exposed, and not in the ruler but in the people who are ruled. It should be a time of mourning, not rejoicing, unless you’re rejoicing over your own exposure and consequent acknowledgment of sin and repentance.
Second, as a prophet myself – a reluctant one, I’d like to add – I don’t have much respect for what passes as prophecy in this country. To reframe an old joke, if you were to lay all our so-called prophets end to end, they would still all point in different directio. Heck, I not even very sure of my own prophetic inclinations. But I’m really sure about something I’ve known since my conversion in 1979; tyranny is coming to this nation. I don’t know that this is the time that this will happen, but it kind of looks inevitable (to those Christians praying for God’s mercy on the United States, pray neither of these turkeys becomes president).
I am also pretty sure about this: If there is a purpose in this infuriating insistence Evangelicals have to support Donald Trump, it’s to expose something very ugly and unChristlike in that camp. I have written a little about this before, as have lots of other folks. Maybe I’ll write more. I don’r know. But frankly, a lot of you folks are a big embarrassment.
Last weekend I once again joined with Kelly Williams, Papy Fisher and a few of his Desanka team in festival ministry, this time at the five year old 3 Days of Light festival, which Kelly had been working on getting into for a couple of years, held this year in the mountains of Ferguson, NC. I have worked with this group at the Wild Goose festival several times, and last year at Haunted Happenings in Salem, MA. It was the first time at this festival for any of us. In addition to doing the usual prophetic ministry out of a tent, Papy was determined to serve the festival in some way similar to what he has done at Wild Goose. So, with Caroline Buchanan’s capable leading, in addition to prophetic ministry, we provided free delicious meals, water, coffee, the occasional roll of duct tape, etc., to anyone and everyone. The impact of having this added aspect of ministry is hard to calculate, but for the sake of illustration, let me say that our presence at this festival was maybe ten times as effective as it would have been with just the ministry tent alone. The ministry tent is where the deepest impact happens. It’s where bondages are broken and people knowingly connect with God. But there was more traffic through the ministry tent because of the free food and drink and the fellowship and relationships that resulted from them.
The importance of that fellowship and the relationships that follow can’t be overstated. This is where festival goers encounter people being Jesus at ground level. They are loved; even more importantly, they are liked. They keep coming back, not only for sustenance but just to sit and visit. Relationships deepen. Contact info is exchanged.
Contact info is exchanged in the ministry tent also, but the dynamic is different. It is that of one person needing help from another person. Sometimes, ministry really does continue afterwards with those who have received ministry in the tent, and a discipleship of sorts ensues. The friendships that develop over food, drink and conversation are different and invaluable. They are, I think like the friendships Jesus formed while on earth, with the mutual affection and easy interchange of people who like each other.
I really can no longer imagine doing outreach ministry without this dynamic.
The encounters we had in the tent were very deep, quite numerous – one after another much of the time – and often very intense. Some were so intense I wasn’t able to talk about them even with others on the team. I still feel unable to tell some of the stories. There was what appeared to be more demonic manifestation than usual, all of which were vanquished as we remained steadfast in prayer and the authority we carry. As usual, many of those who came entered easily into a two way conversation with their Creator, who they either didn’t believe in or weren’t sure existed, and then were delightedly stunned when it was pointed out to them that the conversation had occurred (that’s one of my favorite things). There was one man who, through tears, said he was “stuck” because of a broken heart. My own heart broke for his grief. He left, not without sorrow, but no longer stuck, and free of guilt and shame. I watched his face light up with joy when it was pointed out to him that he had had a two way conversation with God. It’s just so cool that they don’t realize this is happening when it happens!
God is so wonderful.
Recently, a friend, sent me a link to a blog written by a guy who is part of a Christian prayer group. This particular blog article was about a music festival, one of a series of music festivals that happen in various places around the world. The prayer group obviously feels threatened by the existence of these festivals, owing, it seems to their New Age ethos. The writer of the blog mentioned the New Age leanings and called it an “occult” music festival. He writes how his team visited one of the festival arenas prior to the festival to pray that, among other things, attendance would be low and that there would be “major delays and disruptions” so as to hinder the festival. And he reports that attendance at that particular festival, unlike similar festivals held elsewhere, was extremely low indeed and that the delays and disruptions and troubles were pretty substantial. The author was pretty excited about the group’s apparent success, but from my position as someone who attends festivals all the time, I have to ask – what did they really accomplish?
I’m sure they believe they frustrated the powers of darkness.
Assuming for the sake of argument that the group’s prayers were responsible for the low attendance and the technical troubles, did anything redemptive happen as a result?
The author counted as a victory the low attendance. The arena, he reports, holds 15,000 but only 1,100 showed up. If we allow that the music festival is a place of spiritual darkness, then we can make the assumption that those that stayed home avoided that darkness for that period of time, but there is darkness, and light, everywhere, and I doubt this music festival is as evil a place as this group of Christians assumes it to be. And what about the delays and disruptions? Were they a testimony to anyone that the love of God is greater than any power on earth? Certainly not to the attendees or the organizers, unless the group engaged them to tell them what they had done, but the author doesn’t report engaging any of them, though some of them stayed at the arena to observe the “fruits” of their “labors”.
So they engaged no one, blessed no one, loved no one.
If these prayer warriors HAD engaged the organizers or the attendees and told them that the festival failed because they had prayed against it, would they have been grateful? Would they have seen this as an act of love on the part of the prayer team?. No, they would have seen it as an act of aggression. They would have, I promise you, felt (understandably) that these Christians hated them and disapproved of them, and that therefore, the Christian God probably hates and disapproves of them too.
It appears that these intercessors attended the festival but DID NOT bless the attendees, and this is what I find most troublesome about this whole episode. This looks to me to be just another case of fearful Christians too afraid to actually walk in love amongst those Jesus has died to love. How does anyone read the accounts of Jesus and not understand that he absolutely wants to BE there with these people, and that it is our job to go where Jesus wants to be?
I’ll tell you a secret: I go to many festivals – it’s what I do – and I and those I go with are often the only Jesus followers there. You know what we always find?
Jesus is already there!
On one hand, I commend these intercessors for their zeal and I know they believe they are being loving and doing the Lord’s work. They don’t know they are being fearful, but they are, and Jesus followers, of all people, should fear nothing. They apparently were praying for the attendees to not enter into covenants with darkness. Well and good. But why were they not THERE for them, listening to them and praying for their real earthly and spiritual concerns? Why were they not ministering to their needs and empathizing with their hurts and disappointments? In short, why were they not loving them? Isn’t that what Jesus did? When did he ever do anything resembling what these “prayer warriors” were doing?
Our ministry – the ministry of ALL Jesus followers – is that of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:16-20). There’s a better way to do this than by disrupting things and opposing people’s free will, which even God does not do and which does not redeem anything at all. Jesus meets people where they’re at. This is the difference between the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The fruit of the latter may make you feel clever. But it is ministering Life and Light which has taught me what Jesus meant when he said, “I have food to eat ye know not of”.
A few highlights from the Wild Goose festival:
“Lori” came in for ministry. Her higher power is the Universe. I got a word of knowledge and asked her to tell me about her grandmother. She spoke with enthusiasm about her grandmother who raised her. She said her grandmother was a Godly woman who was a beacon to all who knew her. “Lori’s” father was a pentecostal pastor, but “Lori” found that life wanting and she was put off by it. I told her that she was a Life Giver and that she carried the spiritual heritage of her grandmother, and she teared up. From that point, she spoke of God almost like she missed Him, like a friend not seen for a long time.. We became friends and we visited often over the next few days of the festival. I’m sure we’ll stay in touch.
“Kate” was brought up in a cult and had been severely wounded by it.She is an artist, but whenever she tried to create, she heard voices telling her she had no light to share, that she was a “dark thing”. She also would experience a choking sensation at these times. We began breaking off the lies she had been told by these voices, and she felt the choking. We rebuked it and it stopped. The lies were broken and “Kate’s” demeanor brightened, which is saying a lot, because she was already a very outgoing, cheerful person. She had worked hard at overcoming the darkness. I think we completed that work. She, too, became someone I hung out with afterwards. Relationship is so important.
“Susan”, who is in her early 20’s, had recurring dreams of broken glass due to a broken home. She had constant and chronic hip pain which I felt may have been due to emotional trauma. We broke off the trauma and “Susan” forgave several of the people in her life. I got a word of knowledge that she was a redemptive prophet and spoke into her identity based on that. She said she found that very uplifting and identified strongly with what I told her. She returned the following day to tell me that when she left the tent, her hip pain was gone and had not returned.
“Jess” came in with fear of letting people down, which we traced to a time when she woke her father when he was sleeping, and even though her father did not reprimand her or appear angry, she had carried the feeling she had done a bad thing by waking him. We had her ask God direct questions about this memory. She was completely rid of all guilt about it, but was most thrilled that she had had a two way conversation with God.
“Ann” came in, broken hearted over her divorce which had occurred a year prior. She said she said that she hated her ex and could not forgive him. She could not stop crying. I suggested she allow Lauren, the female on our team, to hug her, and she agreed. “Ann” hugged Lauren for 15 or 20 minutes, sobbing uncontrollably the whole time. When she was able to compose herself somewhat, she sat back down. We broke the soul ties between her and her ex-husband and “Ann” was then able to forgive him. Wow. Nice job, Lauren.
“June” came in with trauma. I released the trauma, which came out easily, though “June” was a skeptical sort. Not belligerent skeptical, just “show me” skeptical. As we were doing the trauma release, I asked if she was feeling any pain in her body, as often happens with trauma release, and she said no. Ten minutes after she left, she came back, saying that as soon as she left the tent, her left shoulder began to ache very badly. She was clutching her shoulder and wincing. I began to pull that pain off of her hand over hand as if it were a rope. She frowned, and looked very skeptical. After a few seconds, she said, “I hate to admit it, but it’s gone!” One of those funny moments.
We had a few folks return from previous years. I remembered some of them; it was a reconnecting with friends. There were others who told us they “felt drawn” to our tent and just wanted to see what it was about. People came, left, then sent their friends, family members and spouses to see us.
One man strode up, very purposefully, and said, “You all doing blessings?” Usually they come more timidly, like they’re examining the menu in a fast food restaurant. Not this guy. “You all doing blessings?” One of the other ministers said, “Sure.” So two or three people got together and blessed him. “Thanks!” he said, and strode off.
Those are just a few of the encounters I personally was involved in. There were more, and some of them would be longer stories and harder to tell. My heart and mind are quiet and in awe at what I saw God doing in people’s lives during our time there. We have an amazing heavenly Father and brother in Jesus who fiercely loves people and is eager to bless them. I am so privileged to be a witness to such things.
What can I do for you? I would be more than happy to interpret dreams for you, or arrange a healing encounter either in person or on Skype or FaceTime. Just let me know.