Kingdom

I Want My Keys Back

"On Friday when my sister and I got home from the hospital, we weren't able to find my keys. I had used them to locked my door, then my sister took them to get the handicap pass out of my car. She was sure she had given them back to me, and I was sure she hadn't. I started praying "God, I want my keys back". We checked our bags and pockets, she checked both cars, we called the hospital and still no keys. Fortunately my sister has a copy of my house key and I also have an extra car key. So we were able to get in the house with no problem. Still it was incredibly frustrating to have lost a complete set.

The next day, my sister noticed a note attached to the mailbox which said "keys found" with a phone number. We called, and on the other end was lady, who had found my keys on my street, just a few feet from my car. I feel so blessed, and know that God was watching out for me. Someone could have quite easily picked them up and driven away with my car. It could have also presented an opportunity to access my house and the insurance insurance papers with all my details right there for anyone to see!

I am so thankful that God cares about everything in my life, including my keys."

Thanks for sharing your story, Judy! We are celebrating with you :-)

Salt & Light | Part 2

It was August of 2009, and my Summer break from Ministry School was drawing to a close. I had spent the Holidays speaking and doing a little bit of ministry at my Church back in England.

After that time had come to an end, one of the leaders invited me to the front, and asked the congregation to pray blessings over me as a thank you. He invited anyone who had been personally impacted by what I had released during that time, to come forward and pray. When he began to speak, the involuntary shaking began... If you've not seen that before it really is quite amusing! But it was what happened next I will never forget..

As people began to come forwards (mostly my friends and family), my natural eyes started to do something really weird: The closer people got me, the more I was unable to physically keep them open. The people started changing into intense streaks of light, then from streaks to nothing but light. It was like staring into the sun, only the sun was right in front of me. Then I seemed to disappear for a second. Apparently not physically, I am fairly sure someone would have noticed. But most definitely my spirit was up to something... different!

When I came around, I was hunched over, ears ringing, surrounded by people, and it felt like my heart was trying to escape out of my chest. I think the last thing I remember was my mother laughing behind me, it was more laughing at me than with me (thanks mum! real funny.. ha) It's hard to describe something that you've only experienced once, and honestly doesn't really make much sense. As far as I am aware, I was the only one who saw what I saw. And it opened my eyes (no pun intended), to what we as the church look like in the realm of the spirit.

Jesus said YOU are the light of the World!

There's no way you could hide the light that I saw that day, it was too bright and too blinding. Like a City set on a hill, you couldn't hide even if you tried. As I wrote in Part 1, You are the salt and light of the world. Salt for preservation and light for revelation. What do you need to do to bring preservation (salt)?..... Just show up! God is faithful and He wants you to be too. There's power in loving your City, and we often don't see the effect we are having in the world of the spirit. The story of Lot's wife seems to allude to this, she just couldn't give up what she lived to preserve (Genesis 19:26).

But how do you bring light (revelation)?

Throughout Jesus' life and ministry, He revealed to this kingdom, what it looked like to live in His Kingdom. Jesus is the perfect reflection of the Father. He modeled the value system of His very own Kingdom. He only did what He saw the Father doing!

One of the ways that Jesus modeled for us, was outlined in Acts 10:38.

"God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."

Before you get upset, I want to add that this was just an example. There are many dimensions to the Kingdom. Performing signs and wonders (such as healing) is not the final word on revealing it, but in order to reveal the Kingdom we have to show it to people in all of its dimensions. Also, I am not reproducing the same fruit that Jesus modeled (not even close); but that doesn't mean that I am not meant to. Greater works was His declaration (the context being miracles).

My point is merely this.. Whatever God is revealing to you about His Kingdom (which is the expression of His nature), just keep living it out. He wants the way that you live, to reveal His nature to the Kingdoms here on the Earth. Sometimes the process of seeing takes a while, but you cannot show to other people what you cannot see. But be of good cheer, because He hides revelation for you, not from you! Which means His intention is to give it to those who want it.

Salt & Light | Part 1

In Jesus’s day, salt was used to keep food from going bad, it’s purpose was preservation. The test was in the taste, if it tasted like salt, it was still useful. As soon as it began to taste like fish (or whatever it was preserving) it was no longer good for use, and would be be thrown away.
Jesus said we that we are the salt and light of the Earth. Salt for preservation and light for revelation.

Your mission should you choose to accept it, can be found in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

We are to continue the ministry of Jesus, who came to reconcile the world to the Father.

How did He do this?

By judging what He was called to preserve....  No that doesn't sound right?!

There it is... "By not counting their trespasses against them!"

… the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son ...

(John 5:22)

… I did not come to judge the world, but to save it ...

(John 12:47)

Here's how you can can tell if you've lost your flavour...  Check your inventory.

The River that Flows Out

THAT HEAVEN AND EARTH MIGHT MERGE

At The Stirring there are two components that drive the 'what' and the 'why' do we bother.

Our Mission: Love Reformation

What do we mean by reformation?

"To improve (a law or institution) by correcting abuses" Farlex dictionary

Revival always starts with the poor. It starts at the grass roots level, and it burns its way up. However culture is shaped from the top down. So if what starts at the bottom does not impact those at the top, there will never be a reformation.

Keep it simple. We build a friendship with Heaven, take a look around, what we discover we then serve people with on Earth. Heaven is characterized by extravagant love, so our mandate is to make it tangible in our City.

When reformation is actualized, it brings transformation.

Our Vision: We are a family encountering God and empowering people to stir our world through love.

The Culture we are building is characterized by the presence of God, Worship, Love, Family and Honour. We believe these are the incubators to what we will create with God.

Culture is shaped by the way that people think. This is why Kingdom culture is foundational to the way we do life, not just in our church family but also in our everyday 'world'. The way we think about the circumstances that play themselves out in front of us every single day, these must be anchored in Heavens culture. The goal of what we are doing is to bring heaven to people now, and it begins with the renewing of the mind. For everyday kingdom living to be sustainable, it needs a greenhouse to grow. We like to think of The Stirring as a laboratory, not to be confused with lavatory, however similar the outcomes may be. It's a good idea to have both a manufacturing department and a research and development department. We were born to be a people of discovery! We were asked to disciple Nations...  It is transformed people, that transform the world around them.

The structure of our vision is vital to the outcome.  We don't just huddle, we play the game!

Our structure: Train and Equip with Deployment in mind.

Church is supposed to be a safe place, but if you get trained in the Zoo, when you reach the Jungle, all of it will be completely irrelevant. Biblical faith has practical application!

In the Kingdom, you only get keep what you give away. So all the encountering God, must find a practical application in your everyday life. Which is why we believe that every believer is in full time ministry and your world is your pulpit. There is no such thing as 'lay people' in the body of Christ, once you are in you're part of the royal priesthood. It is the Saints who perform the work of service.

Ezekiel 47 illustrates how we function.

The River From the Temple

47 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.

3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. 4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. 5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. 6 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.

7 When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. 8 Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. 9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. 10 It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. 11 But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. 12 Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

We believe that God's presence (river) wants to leave the sanctuary in every direction. The further away from the sanctuary, the deeper the river. The most spectacular works of God are going to happen the farther you get from the sanctuary. The greatest miracles are destined to take place in the darkest places. Every living thing that moves wherever the river goes will live! Movement is life.

Everything that the river touches receives supernatural benefit.

Jesus said that belief in Him will cause rivers of living water to flow from the heart (John 7:38). And you have become the temple of God. The fullness of God lives inside you! Wherever you go, the river goes with you. God is going to water the root system of society, and He wants to use you to do it.

When a river has only an inlet and no outlet, it has no movement (swamps and marshes). Sometimes all it needs to start moving again, is a little stir.

Knowing His Goodness

As I have been out living my life and interacting with others, I have run across a lot of doom and gloom right now.  With everything going on in the world around us, from recession talk, judgment of God threats to America, the current economic state of the world especially Greece, social justice issues, and the list can go on and on.  There has been so much negativity and hopelessness.  After walking away from various conversations, I realized that I have become so grounded in my theology of "God being good all the time."  It is important to know what you believe and the posture you are to take when you hear this talk around you.

In Ephesians 2: 20, Jesus is referred to as the chief cornerstone.  A cornerstone was an unusual stone,  as the chief cornerstone would hold the building in place but it would also set the parameters for the building.  Instead of the cornerstone of a building, think of the cornerstone of our theology or our thoughts.  There are certain things that need to be well established in our heart and mind.  They become the lenses through which we see reality, the way we approach life.  When something happens, we always react out of a default that we have built within us-good or bad.  I believe that the goodness of God is to be the cornerstone of our theology.  As situations occur in our lives, how we are able to handle and process them comes from how we view God.  If the cornerstone of our belief is that God is good, and His intentions toward us are good, then how we walk through life will change.  Everything in our relationship with God flows from knowing and trusting in His goodness.

"God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all," 1 John 1:5.  When you think on this statement, it is a crazy thought.  No darkness at all!!  Just light!!  God does not have a mean streak.  He does not wake up on the wrong side of the bed and go after us.  He does not have a bad day.  He does not have a hidden nasty side.  His character is good.  Everything about God is good.  Psalm 119:68 says,  “You are good, and what you do is good.”  It does not say once in awhile He is good.  It does not say God is good, when we are good.  It says God is good and everything He does is good.  Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  His personality, character, and nature never changes.   God does not change in His character, His name, and His will.  We can always count on Him.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  We can always count on Him to be good. 

Everything God does is good.  Genesis 1:31, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”  Everything He made was good-the animals, man, the world He created.  God is good, and He sees us as good.  Everything He makes is good.  You are good because you are God’s creation.  Think of the huge implications to actually understanding this.  "You are good,"-you do not have to hate yourself, have self loathing, feel like you are unworthy, a terrible sinful person , etc.  Instead, you are deeply loved, you are a saint, you are chosen and adopted by Him, you are a son and a daughter, and you were created in His image.  He made you and said "it is good."  Everything He does is good.

I know that the big question has already crossed your mind as you have been reading this.  So if God is good and what He does is good, then why are people sick and dying?  Why is there suffering?  I was recently at the hospital visiting a very sick friend.  It was very touch and go whether she would make it or not.  Her grown children, point blank asked me, "why did God make her sick?"  The question really threw me for a moment, as I do not live in the belief system that God gives us sickness, diseases, and suffering.  My response was "Do you make your children sick?  Do you give them diseases?"  God is a loving and good Father.  He does not cause sickness and disease. God in His sovereign will determined at the beginning of creation, that man would make decisions at the beginning of creation that there would be consequences as a result of those decisions.  So when Adam and Eve chose to sin, sin entered into the world, therefore, death entered into the world.  The enemy was given authority because man gave up their authority.  People get sick and have diseases because of the enemy.  Jesus said” the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy.”  Bad things happen because of the devil.  God is good and does not cause sickness, disease, and bad things.  It is the enemy coming "to kill, steal, and destroy."  So as we encounter sickness, suffering, disease, we need to recognize that God did not give this to us.  He is good, and He will walk through this with us.

At the end of the day, we need to experience God and His goodness.  We need to move from having a truth in our head, to it being a truth in our heart and spirit.  Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” This is an invitation by David to continually “taste and see” that God is good.  When you start tasting and seeing that God is good, it creates a hunger in you.  The rest of the verse says “happy are those who take refuge in Him.”  They encounter His goodness, and want more and more.  So how do you experience His goodness?  For me personally, I have taken the time everyday to look for His hand or to see His kiss.  I go over my day and ask Him, "where was your kiss for me today?"  Sometimes, I can see it and know it as it is happening, and sometimes it is just a simple thing that could have easily been missed.  But it is taking the time in every day to see and know His goodness.  I have a jar that sits on my desk.  It says on the front of it, "Kisses from God."  Once or twice a week, I write down on paper what the kiss from God was for the week.  On New Year's Eve, I plan to read through my jar and see His kisses from this past year.  Sometimes, when I am going through a rough time, I put my hand in that jar and start reading those kisses to remind myself of His goodness.  So I bless you to know and trust in His goodness.  May you see the kisses of God in every day of your life.  I bless you "to taste and see that He is good.

Kingdom Ministry

The Saints

From the moment you received Christ, you began your Full Time Ministry. For too long the term 'Ministry' has been boxed into the confines of the Church (sphere of influence). We believe that if you are a Doctor, then you're in full time ministry! And if you're flipping burgers at McDonald's, you're in full time ministry. You're World is your ministry.

In 1 Peter, it outlines who we are as New Covenant people (2:4-10). We are a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, and Gods Special Possession. If you've entered the Kingdom, you're part of the Priesthood. It doesn't exclude anyone! You don't have to wait 5 Years, or until you've had a Child. And it doesn't mention Lay People anywhere! The born again believer is a Royal Priest and Saint.

The Lay People

There's no such thing as Lay People in the body of Christ! In the Book of Revelation (2:6), Jesus talks about His hatred for 'the deeds of the Nicolaitans'. The word Nicolaitan means 'conqueror of the lay people'. The Nicolaitans separated the Body of Christ into two categories, those who minister and those who get ministered to. The result of this way of life, is a people who's purpose is in their leadership. They don't feed themselves, they look to 'Moses' to do it for them.

Five-Fold

In Ephesians 4 we read about the Gifts to the Church. It speaks of the Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher. Each of these Gifts to the church carries grace for others to operate in each Gift. It's their job to equip the Saints for the work of service. For instance, the Prophet will hook up your phone line and teach you how to hear Gods voice. Not just for yourself but for other people. If they're equipping the Saints, who's doing the work of service? Its the Saints.

The purpose is to create mature believers, by equipping them with each of the Five graces mentioned. The fruit of a mature family is that the body builds up the body. Because the body has been equipped with grace and applied it to everyday life. If every time you have a problem you need the Pastor, then that's the problem. In fact if you're doing a really good job at equipping and releasing, the people you are equipping have outgrown you.

The size of our Harvest can be defined by the capacity in which the Saints are trained and empowered to live out their gifting, calling and anointing.