Capturing God’s Heart – Holiness – Volume 30

Holiness is the call of those who claim to know God.

Holiness is the work of the cross done first in our own lives.

Holiness is our personal proving ground before we head out with the gospel to others.

Before Christ we were enslaved to our flesh. Our hungers were focussed on our physical body and our heart sins. We lied, we cheated, we were licentious and gluttons.

It was easy to hate. It felt good to slander. We brought others low so we could feel big. We were consumed with how we could bring pleasure to ourselves.

Then we came to know Christ.

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What We Know

light of the worldWhat if each of us was to speak what we know. Not what we think we know. Not what we might like to know. But what we really know.

You know, those convictions and conclusions that have been tried and tested over the years and still ring true deep in our spirits.

For one thing, I suspect we wouldn’t speak as much.

But I also suspect that our words would be so much deeper, so much more real, and in the speaking of them we would be so much more invested and engaged.

If nothing else, try this out as an exercise. Here is what I know:

  • God loves me passionately and intimately
  • God loves you passionately and intimately
  • Christ came to give us new life and in him we have life like we’ve never dreamed
  • I must live out of my authentic core bringing my entire range of experience and emotion to God and in this I find intimacy
  • I do not know everything about God

What do you know?

Are you articulating it?

Are you living it?

How is it changing your life?

Agreement

I’m always gauging agreement. What I mean is this:

‘How willing are people to agree with me in spirit?’

The path to freedom in Christ is not a difficult one, if we can agree. As a prayer minister I usher and declare freedom from personal strongholds, generational sins, and curses from people. It is my job.

Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead establishing the authority of this earth back where it belonged. In the hands of men and women and by the power of the name and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Some months back I was working with a client who was hesitant to release and allow gone a substantial stronghold. I cannot even remember what it was exactly, but what I do remember is her asking me how much time it would take to ‘work’ through it.

My reply, “About 30 seconds.”

Praying deliverance and healing and freedom is easy. It takes no longer than it takes to speak a few sentences. The hard part… agreeing.

As a prayer minister I never lead anyone, or pray over anyone anything, that they have not agreed to and are welcoming and wanting.

The principle of agreement is strong the entire way through scripture. Jesus himself said, “Wherever two of you agree in my name whatever you ask it will be done.”

Simple as that, and as difficult as that.

It’s why I am always gauging the extent to which someone is willing to work with me.

And when I travel and minister in villages and towns to pastors, leadership teams, and congregations, the thing I am always watching for is this ability to agree in the spirit.

Not because I need people to agree with me, but because agreement marks how much work can be done in a place.

In the spring of 2012 I was in Uganda visiting many churches. Each church carried a different focus and expression of God, and each church had its own challenges.

Partway through the trip I was at a church up on a hill overlooking lake Victoria. It was a beautiful location with soft breezes blowing.

The church was primarily children (this was the same in a number of other churches as well – 49% of Ugandans are under the age of 15), with a small smattering of adults.

I was sitting in my usual place at the head of the room, surrounded by about ten other visiting leaders. One of the gentleman I was with suggested that we pray for the sick that afternoon, for we had just the day prior to this one been at a church where various illness’ were healed.

I took the suggestion before the Lord, waiting on the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. But what came to me, what slowly dawned during the morning and the worship, was that something was very wrong in that church.

The worship seemed evil, even though it was the same words and songs as many other places I had been. The children were ‘stupefied’, nearly asleep as I told them a story that morning. I couldn’t get it out of my mind that something was really wrong here.

When we broke for lunch I stepped aside for a bit to inquire of the Lord, to sort out the conflicting messages I was receiving, and to settle on what I was going to do that afternoon.

I really don’t enjoy bringing hard words. And when I am a visiting guest I really don’t like this part of my job. But I knew that we had no freedom for praying healing, for there was, from what I could tell, hidden sin in that church.

The afternoon session began and I, with my translator at my side, simply shared what I was sensing.

“We had been thinking to maybe pray healing this afternoon, but I don’t think we can do that today. Now I am new here, and what I am sensing could be completely wrong, you tell me (as I took in the leadership behind me, asking their input) but it seems that there is hidden sin here.”

A few of the key leaders shook their heads ‘yes’.

I went on to explain the dangers of deception over our hearts and in our journey with the Lord. Much as in a one-on-one prayer ministry session I’ll give some context about what seems to be at hand, always seeking to see if we can enter into agreement.

The people, listening to me, had gone quiet. No one was responding, and I couldn’t quite tell if they were ready to follow my discernment, to enter into confession, and to find healing and freedom.

But, like with any group, we ask for agreement through a physical action. Sometimes we stand, sometimes we kneel, sometimes we raise a hand. It is a simple way for people to say, “Yes what you are saying I agree to and enter into.”

That day, no one was moving. So I just led the way. I explained that for anyone who wanted to join me in prayer confessing this hidden sin, bringing it to the cross, could kneel along with me and my translator.

And because of the severity of the matter, I requested from the leadership at the front of the church that they join the congregation rather than staying at the front. I said, “This is not about leaders and followers today, this is about us all doing business before the Lord.”

There was still no movement from anyone, so I simply turned my back to the congregation and went down on my knees with my eyes closed. My translator did the same.

I couldn’t see what was happening, and I was already beginning to pray, but I heard the whoosh of many people moving and kneeling.

I’m not sure how long I prayed, maybe five minutes at the most. Leading by example and in modelling the process of confession, repentance, renouncing, breaking, cancelling, receiving and sealing that I use with every process of deliverance.

Nearing the end of my prayer I stood and turned back to the crowd and opened my eyes, and every single person, every child, every leader was on their knees. The people had come from the back, the leaders had come from the front.

This agreement allowed a great work of the Lord that day for those people. There was tangible deliverance and new freedoms given in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Agreement determines the amount of work that can be done in any one life, in any one place.

So I am always gauging levels of agreement. For those unable or unwilling to enter into and receive how the Lord works through me, little happens.

For those who enter into agreement, we just keep doing business and getting stuff right with the Lord. This is the work of inner healing and deliverance.

It began with the love of the Father, was established by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, is empowered by the Holy Spirit and is carried on as we agree.

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:19

Forefront Leaders

P1320276 compressedIndigenous pastors are at the forefront of community care and development.

Taking orphans under their care,  building schools, arranging for water developments, and more, they are serving and caring 24/7 in ways that outpace many (I should say most) of us in the west.

With limited resources much is being done and the level of faith and trust in the Lord’s provision in the mix is something we can all learn from.

One of our colleagues in Kenya was part of a Pastors Conference a few weeks back, and during the time there an elderly woman died. Turns out she had under her care three orphans with now, nowhere to go.

This man took the children to his mother’s, with the last of his money, and managed to get home to Nairobi, albeit tired and hungry (he had spent his travel money on a funeral for the woman).

Talking with him this morning we found that he had just been back to the interior of Kenya, to his Mom’s home to ensure that the children were beginning their term of school with everything they needed.

This is but one example of the ongoing and unexpected, but privileged work, that indigenous pastors are accomplishing in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In fact, when this gentleman first told me of the elderly woman’s death and of these children his exact words were, “I am excited for these children, they are under my care now, and the Lord has good things in store for them.”

With an attitude like that, anything is possible, and much will be accomplished in and for the lives of these children.

This and more stories like this is what makes it such a privilege to be serving indigenous pastors, they are after all forefront leaders in their communities and it is simply an honor to bless on them.

Please keep these children and their benefactor in your prayers.

Capturing God’s Heart – Repentance – Volume 28

There is a time for celebration and rejoicing and for worshiping God, and then there is a time for mourning and grieving and laying bare our deeds before the Lord.

Consider what James says,

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:8-10

Admitting that we have done wrong is one of the most freeing experiences. Repentance is deep intimacy with The Father.

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Ministry in Mozambique

The summer is flying by, and with it we are thick into preparations for our fall ministry trip to Mozambique.

Pastor Daniel and nine churches have been waiting for over a year and a half for us to be there, and we are deeply glad that the time has come for fellowship in company of each other.

The plan is that I (Cyndy) will head there on October 16th for 15 days on the ground. We have received donations enough to cover about two-thirds of the ticket price, and half of the total cost of the trip.

Thank-you to all those who have donated so far – The work of Capturing Courage is dependent on the donations and prayers of ordinary folks like yourselves.

A few specific things to keep in prayer about:

– Clarity in our final communications as we near our travel time.

– Full funding so that we stay on budget for this trip.

– Heart preparation for a work of the Lord, for both Cyndy and the people in Mozambique.

– All details coming together.

art auctionThere are also five evangelists and pastors from Kenya and Uganda who would like to travel and join us in Mozambique – please pray for clarity, direction, and funding to work for them as the Lord leads.

The work of Capturing Courage continues to solidify and expand. As we are faithful with the depth the Lord continues to increase the breadth.

Please be in prayer for us beyond this trip to Mozambique. The question of ‘which country next?’ is playing in the back of our minds and we wait on the Lord’s specific direction.

The choices forefront in our minds at this time are India, Kenya, Myanmar, & Uganda.

Your prayers for clarity and wisdom and guidance on our behalf are very appreciated.

If you live in the Vancouver area mark your calendars for our Open House & Art Auction Fundraiser coming in late September.

If you are new to the work of Capturing Courage Click HERE.

“Make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous portion of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”  2 Peter 1:5-7 NLT

To support this work around the world Donate HERE

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Spiritual Authority Course Begins in India

Timothy in IndiaPastor Timothy in India reports:

“My Dear Sister in Christ,

Heartily Greetings to you in Jesus precious Name!

Thank you for CCI School of Discipleship – Part ONE.

I am Studying and understanding every sentence, very useful to our ministry.

I and our ten pastors we all are studying and praying every day.

Thank you for your kind prayers for our ministry

May God bless you and your ministry

Yours brother Timothy www.tribalevangelisttimothy.org”

You can find out more about Timothy and the work he is doing HERE

As the Walking in Spiritual Authority material begins to make its way around the world we simply pray that students are personally touched by the power of our Living God.

Please pray for these eleven lead pastors in India, for both provision and for clarity about how to take this course to other pastors and to congregations.

They are hungry for training and discipleship material. Timothy writes weekly asking for further materials as he has been one of the primary distributors of Capturing God’s Heart, having already passed them on to 1000 pastors.

We are just trying to keep up with him! We declare the Lord’s blessing and peace over him this day.

You can support the work of Capturing Courage HERE

Obedience is Powerful

I’ve been reading a book titled The Art of Significance. What caught my attention about this book is the very first chapter ‘Practice Obedience Instead of Free Will Agency’.

Stunning, is all I have to say.

I’ve never seen this written out anywhere before.

The Walking in Spiritual Authority Discipleship Course that I am currently writing is very strong on this. When we are in sync with the Lord, when we are walking in obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, this is when we are most effective. It is when God can trust us that we are then entrusted with the keys of the Kingdom.

When young and as we grew we believed that adulthood came doing what we wanted, when we wanted. But as anyone who has advanced knows, the most influential among us are the most disciplined. The most adult among us are the one’s surrendering their actions to a higher wisdom and the ‘rules of the road’ that this world runs by.

Contrary to this, the opposite of obedience is disregard. I’ve been witness to this in people over the years and it is quite sad actually – a heart and spirit that cannot obey, that refuses to respond to say the (literal) simple rules of the road, or the wisdom of experts (because what do they know anyway), are at a significant disadvantage.

The inability to obey has one flailing on one’s own, unable to access wisdom gone before.

Walking with the Lord is a simple equation actually – grow in obedience, respect, and surrender.

Being used by the Lord is the same equation. Do you want to be used by the Lord? Grow in listening, in responding, in acting on an instruction even if it you don’t understand all the way.

Obedience is a prerequisite to a fulfilling life. The obedient are marked by self-control, by wisdom, and by deliberate action and reaction.

The ability to take oneself in hand and set a course of action, of being intentional and following through with excellent execution, are not the skills of someone doing as they wish, but rather the disciplined outcome of one who has an obedient way of doing life.

The disobedient think they always know best and simply follow their own path and formula.

It never works.

Rather those willing to learn and to grow reap many rewards. The patterns of success are evident in every sphere of life, and it is those able to ascribe their life accordingly that will receive the satisfaction of a job well done and a life well lived.

Where are you shrugging obedience? Where are you doing your own thing?

And where might obedience make difference for you this week?

Those wanting health must obey the rules of healthy living – eat right, exercise, get lots of sleep. And try these ideas

Those wanting financial health must obey the rules of finance – spend less than you make, tithe, save for a rainy day. This is a great list

Those wanting business health must obey the rules of business – be strategic, do not make emotional decisions. Check out these 15 rules

Simply put, grow in obedience, our lives will thank us.

Blessing and Being Blessed

pastor Michael in KenyaThe reports regarding our Capturing God`s Heart topical Bible studies are coming in –

here is the latest from Pastor Michael & his wife Mary in Kenya,

“Much greetings and much blessings to you in Jesus most precious name. Thank you for your mail and inquiry and what we are doing here, especially with the Capturing God’s Heart studies.

I am so much blessed because of God’s grace and love that enabled me to be connected to you so that I may have access to your teachings. I am a church planter in the rural villages and the slums in Kenya.

I reach many areas of my nation working with different churches in the rural villages. However our major problem had been lack of discipleship material. Having gone through your material I was very much happy since they are addressing all areas of Ministry.  This is when I began using them in my church. I then introduced them to the Pastors working in my Ministry.

Since the beginning of this year we adopted Capturing God’s Heart studies as discipleship training material and our teams like them so much.  Presently over 4000 people are being taught or benefiting from Capturing God’s Heart every week in the rural villages.

Over 60 churches from different denominations in western Kenya, Nyanza, Rift valley, Central and Nairobi are using Capturing Gods Heart studies. Due to poor internet availability in most places I do print and send the printed copies to the villages. I pray God will give you the opportunity during your African trips to visit us and many others.

God bless. Pastor Michael Agoye“

Pastor Michael is just one of six leaders (and many, many congregations) in Kenya who have invited us to fellowship with them – we are waiting on the Lord`s timing and leading regarding our time to come in Kenya.

Personally, I am eager to go there.

Please keep us in your prayers as we stretch forward into full-on ministry around the world. We thank the Lord for his favor over these God`s Heart studies, and simply commit all our effort and lives to the glory of God and God alone.

To Donate to God`s Heart around the world, as well as our presence on the ground in Kenya and other nations, go HERE.

Note that all donations (within Canada) will receive a charitable receipt for tax purposes.

“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the one who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! … So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day with pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.” 2 Peter 1:3-8 Message

Ministry of Presence

P1230297 compressedThere is something to be said for a ministry of presence.

In our North American culture it is all too easy to think we must be always doing something, accomplishing this, managing that. But what if we don’t?

Trained as a coach one of the most powerful paradigm shifts I came to learn was to consider that just maybe, everything right now, exactly as it is, is just the way it is supposed to be. Just consider for a moment that nothing is wrong. What might that change for you today?

Now, the technical answer is that there are many things wrong in our world. Justice demands that we do in fact enter into everything that has gone wrong and in the name of the Lord set it straight.

At the same time, what if we could do this work in the peace that comes of God having everything in hand, and the knowledge that we are in the exact right place this very minute.

What might that change for you today?

Because of my own journey through immense difficulties, and the subsequent profound presence of the Lord in the midst of them, I learned that everything need not rush to be fixed. I learned that God is in our messes just as much in our cleanness.

Once we have learned this in our own lives. Once we’ve stopped frantically trying to assuage our own comfort, once we’ve ceased from controlling our outcomes we are well equipped to come alongside others in a gift of presence.

Instead of speaking into the matter we can just sit alongside.

Rather than finding ourselves distraught we can hunker down and be a companion.

A friend of mine had cancer a few years back, and my favorite thing to do was to just climb up onto her bed beside her and simply be there with her.

We had such rich times of prayer and whispers and silence.

In many ways, this is the ministry of Capturing Courage around the world. We are climbing in alongside hard and difficult circumstance and simply bringing a ministry of presence.

With rich times of prayer and heart whispers heard by God and profound silence found in his glory.

None of us are the same afterwards, and we are simply so much richer.

For nothing has changed, and yet everything has changed, once we’ve been in the presence of the Lord together.

 

Capturing Courage Stories & Prayer from around the World

You are Invited - April 21st