Listening to God

God speaks to us through dreams

do what Jesus did robby dawkins

Click ME! Do it. Jesus would.

I was reading Robby Dawkins book, “Do What Jesus Did” at the coffee shop today. Reading through his stories makes me laugh and cry. The most recent story was how God sometimes gives us pictures to share with those we are praying with. He told of a woman who was skeptical of God and church and didn’t know if it was a safe place to let her guard down. (I suppose some churches are and some aren’t.)

Robby and another lady were praying for this woman and the lady praying got a picture of a jack-in-the-box on a mantel and something about playing it over and over. So she took the courage to share that with her. The woman hung her head and started to cry. She told of how when her parents used to fight really bad, she would go to a neighbors house and take their jack-in-the-box off the mantel and play with it over and over and it made her feel safe. She said, “I think God is telling me that it is safe here.” She came to Jesus and opened her heart to the love of God!

This story made me cry because God knows every detail of our lives and he cares… deeply. Jesus is a safe place. You can let your guard down around him and around those who truly know him.

Sometimes I haven’t felt so safe or loved or valued in “church”. You know what I mean? A dream helped me define how I sometimes feel:

I was part of a play but I had no lines, so I wrote some lines that I thought would fit perfectly and complimented the scene. My lines were relating a dream about the events in the play. During rehearsal as they read over my included part they said, “who wrote this? This is crap! This doesn’t belong in this play.”

Then I was shown a house. It was fully completed. I was an extra part of the house (like an appendix) and didn’t seem to fit anywhere. I was represented by a cubed rectangle object with a cone coming off of it. “What is this? Where can we fit this?” Someone said, “Perhaps up here on the roof? Wow that looks weird.”

Here is the lie:

I don’t fit. The stuff I’m into and believe and think is cool from the Bible just doesn’t belong in the established way of things. My part doesn’t fit in the ongoing play. The church doesn’t need a fifth wheel.

Of course I know I am exactly who God has made me to be and I fit perfectly in his kingdom right where he puts me. I am fully secure in the fact that he accepts me and has made me a masterpiece to show a unique side of him… as we all do!

Then I had another dream:

I was with Jesus the carpenter and I was a peice of wood. I told him, “I suppose you can use me to light a fire or something.” He told me, “This is more of what I had in mind”. He showed me a picture of a flamed maple table top. Wow!

I once told a pastor, “If this thing (church) is fake and not for real people (who are sometimes weird like me) I don’t want it. I want the real thing.”

Of course I know the church – the true body of Christ – welcomes all the different and unique parts and functions that make up Christ’s body. I want that! I have experienced this and if you have experienced it for yourself, you would desperately want more of this too!

There is a place for you. You fit with Jesus. You belong in his family! In fact, your role is vital. There is an emptiness in our hearts until you are with us, healthy and holy, functioning and contributing as you should in the real way you do.

You are His masterpiece!

The real body of Christ is everywhere. It is organic and living and breathing. It’s in the relationships and friendships you form with other believers. It’s also in the gifted and anointed preachers, teachers, and worship leaders, or in the healers and miracle workers and prophetic intercessors that God uses. You have gifts (“superpowers”) too! You can speak into people’s lives like the woman did who had that prophetic word that I began this blog with! God will use you to grow His kingdom of Love.

Are you in?

Categories: Church, Dreams, Encountering God, Listening to God | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Joyeux Noël

I have performed six Christmas concerts so far this December. Todays concerts were especially interesting. At the Rehab facility there was a young man named Vang (I believe he was Hmong) who seemed very interested in my Gospel presentation. When I prayed with the group he may very well have prayed with me to receive Christ and was eager to recieve a Gospel of John. He started reading it right away. I also felt led to give him a copy of my CD and he said he was glad to meet me. I am very glad because I think we have a new member added to the family of God!

At my last concert this evening I felt impressed to share about a movie I had seen called Joyeux Noël about a three day treaty that happened on several of the frontlines of World War 1 in 1914.

Here is the trailer for this movie:

It all started with the singing of Christmas carols among the soldiers.

A man spoke up at my concert, “Yes, it’s true. My dad was there and witnessed this event.”

Wow.

Please be praying for me that as I continue sharing the Gospel that many will respond and also that I continue to be led by the Holy Spirit as I was today.

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My Hitchhiking Adventure With God – The Journey “Home” (Part 4)

As with any story, it is best to start at the beginning:

Here is Part 1 of My Hitchhiking Adventure With God (not to be missed!)

PART 4 – the final chapter:

The YWAM directors (a husband/wife team) just so “happened” to be going on a vacation the following day to Monroe, Louisiana (though I suspect they formed their plans around me). They gave me a ride north to Highway 20 to a rest area on the way to YWAM in Lindale.

While waiting by the ramp at the rest area, a woman walked up to me and propositioned me for a threesome sex with her and her boyfriend. She had such a look of shame on her face and could hardly get the words out that she came to ask me. She told me that her boyfriend had put her up to it.

I talked to her about Jesus and prayed with her and she went back to tell her boyfriend that I was some sort of preacher. A few minutes later I went over to their RV not knowing what exactly I was going to say but wanting to say something to them both that might make some difference in their lives. What came out my mouth surprised me. I said, “Do you know why Jesus was baptized? He came to identify with us as sinners. He came to save us sinners from all our sinful ways. He came for all the sick and broken people like you and me.”

As a side note, I have since come to believe that everything Jesus has done is on our behalf. His was a substitutionary life for all of us. He kept the Father’s law of love on our behalf. His baptism was also on our behalf. For everyone who failed to obey his command of baptism, or couldn’t for whatever reason, do not fear, for he was! His death became our death to sin! His burial became our burial to the old sinful life! And best of all, his resurrection became our resurrection to new life in the Spirit! It’s all about Jesus! Everything he did, and everything he is becomes our salvation. Just as his name “Jesus” means: “I AM salvation”! – I just googled “I Am Salvation” for an image, and the image of my video popped up:

I caught a ride with a truck driver back to the YWAM ranch in Garden Valley. As I walked back into the camp I saw a few of the friends I had met. They were happy to see me and I related to them how the trip went. Maybe an hour passed and then my mom showed up to give me a ride home. Had someone called her? I still don’t know how she knew to meet me there. But I figure that she had told them to call her immediately if her crazy son ever showed up there again.

Everyone had indeed thought I had lost my mind and gone off the deep end. Of course I knew I hadn’t so it didn’t really matter what anyone else thought. I knew I was following Christ. One of the ladies back at GFA was praying for me and received the following Scripture for me:

images-2“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” Romans 14:4 NIV

This Scripture has helped me through the years not to judge other servants of God. It isn’t our place to judge and the Lord is able to make them stand. That goes for you and for me.

What I haven’t mentioned thus far is that I had been in a long distance relationship with a young lady named Catherine at the time of this little adventure. We had met about nine months prior and we both knew from the first day that we were destined for each other. Catherine was the daughter of a long time friend of my moms when we had lived in Wisconsin some 18 years earlier.

God had made it clear to the both of us that we had found our perfect God-ordained match. But, at the time, I was resisting this. I wanted to please God (and was afraid of God) so desperately that I wanted to forsake marriage altogether for the sake of service to God. I was convinced that this would please God more. I had to have a life that pleased God to the utmost or I was convinced my life was a waste and that God would just move on to someone else who would be willing to give everything up to follow him.

A month passed after coming back to the Dallas area. I tried teaming up with YWAM in Dallas but it seemed like a mess. They weren’t really doing much of anything except trying to convert the Mormons who would come to visit and try to convert them. I would often go down to Deep Elum or places like that to witness on the streets. I would talk to anyone on the street about Jesus and ask to pray with them. I remember one time at a stoplight getting out of my car and witnessing to the people in the car behind me. At the time I was making plans to go to Mexico on another crazy mission for God, and then later to Sydney Australia to the YWAM base there to evangelize at the upcoming Olympics.

In March I finally got around to obeying what the Lord had told me while walking toward Shreveport. He had told me to buy a one-way bus ticket to Wisconsin. I bought a round trip ticket for two weeks (I never did use the second half of the ticket). The clerk at the Greyhound bus station in Dallas couldn’t spell Manitowoc so I just had them send me to Milwaukee instead. I had never discussed with my mom or anyone else what God had told me about going to Wisconsin.

Meanwhile back in Manitowoc, Catherine was praying for me and for our relationship.  God told her, “Daniel is coming on April 5th.” She marked her calendar and believed God all the while in spite of all my rejection and resistance (we were not on speaking terms at the time). Her mom tried to tell her not to get her hopes up.

I called up Cindie, Catherine’s mom, a week or so prior to my trip and said, “I know something you don’t know.”

She said, “No you don’t. You are coming on April 5th.”

I had to look at my ticket and sure enough it had me arriving on April 5th. I asked her, “How did you know that?” Then she told me her side of the story.

So I came to Wisconsin on a Greyhound bus with my $100 guitar and some clothes and belongings in some very ugly luggage that my mom was glad to part with. I never did use that second ticket and that is how I came to live in Wisconsin.

God works in mysterious ways.

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My Hitchhiking Adventure With God – On to New Orleans (Part 3)

As with any story, it is best to start at the beginning:

Here is Part 1 of My Hitchhiking Adventure With God (not to be missed!)

PART 3:

AT GRACE HOUSE IN ALEXANDRIA, LOUISIANA

The next morning at Grace House I woke up, ate a brownie, read my Bible, had some fellowship and prayer with a brother there, and set out on the road. The day was absolutely perfect. It was such a beautiful morning! Sunny skies, the perfect temperature for a walk, and that fresh morning smell in the air. It was indescribable!

As I was walking south on Highway 49, a girl named Charity picked me up. She told me that years ago her mother had picked up her father while he was hitchhiking.  Ladies, don’t pick up hitchhikers! I can vouch that they are known to be unstable and shady characters. Charity, as her name implies, was really nice. She tried to buy me lunch but I couldn’t eat. (In fact I had eaten very little over the past two days and this continued throughout the entire trip. I do remember, however, drinking several Cokes along the way and ended up with stomach ulcers.)

Charity even trusted me in her truck with her keys while she stopped to run some errands and I trusted her with some of my lame poetry about God. Finally she dropped me off at a truck stop on the way to Baton Rouge.

Here is an example of one of the poems I left with Charity:

Flying into the Glory

Flying along in a spacious canopy of air
At four thousand feet not a worry to spare
All I could think of was God’s gracious presence
His warmth and intimacy and his great transcendence

As I gazed out the window I heard him say so clear,
“I love you my child, you to me are so dear”
“Thank you my father” was all I could say
As his joy filled my heart in such a marvelous way
“I love you sweet Jesus” was my hearts cry
You gave me so much when you suffered and died

A streak of light out the window then caught my eye
“The engines aflame, we’re all gonna die!”
The intercom blared, “stay calm, don’t panic.”
But hysteria mounted with all passengers frantic

“Jesus”, I prayed, “Your will be done”
“Welcome home”, he replied, “my beloved son”
A brilliant flash, billows of flame
For a moment I felt intense searing pain

Then instantly riding in a chariot of fire
It was awesome to gaze upon my true desire
Permeated with the most intense brilliant light
As the word of God echoed, “there shall be no more night”

Angels flew by my side with joyous glint in their eyes
Celebration for me? It was such a surprise
The death of his saints so precious in his sight
My moment had come, it was time to delight

Hovering over a great sea of glass
I strode up to his throne, finally at long last
I knelt down and bowed low, submissive to HIM
He stooped down in love and lifted my chin

He gazed into my eyes and then I realized
His love is so real, a truth most people despised
Forever will I, praise him and glorify
The most worthy, most holy, Jesus Christ

A poem by Daniel Lovett – August of 1996

Near the truck stop a man was stopped on the side of the freeway on ramp cleaning out his car. I just assumed that he had stopped for me, which wasn’t the case, but he was nice enough to give me a ride all the way to New Orleans after a quick stop by his home in Baton Rouge. He told me he had been debating about whether to go to New Orleans at a friends invitation anyway.

The drive along the elevated highway through the alligator and snake infested swampland was interesting to say the least. As we drove he told me about how New Orleans was below sea level and how they buried 90% of people above ground.

When we arrived in New Orleans I stopped to pick up a map for $2.95 so I could locate the YWAM house. When the cashier handed me back a nickel after I handed him 3 dollars, it reminded me of what the man said to me the night before about my faith being worth less than a nickel. How valuable is our faith to God? Priceless.

On the third day of hitchhiking I arrived at the YWAM base in New Orleans. While I was at the YWAM base in Lindale, Texas they had called ahead to the YWAM base in New Orleans so they could expect my arrival. It seemed that the Lord had planned for everything.

It was so surreal to finally be there in New Orleans. I met a man at the YWAM base who greeted me right away and prayed for me thanking God for sending me. He told me his story about how he had been a drunk. One day while intoxicated he tried to jump onto a moving train for the fun of it and slipped and fell. The train took off his arm. Now, though missing his left arm, he loves Jesus with all his heart. (I later learned that he was inspired by my journey and took a “Spirit-led” trip of his own to Seattle.)

I met another man who was a seasoned evangelist. I wish that at the time I had been more teachable and more mature. I would have listened more and tried to learn from his experience. He had a practice of handing out Gospels of John. This is a practice that I picked up and still continue to do in my ministry in the nursing homes.

I had also learned that Carman, a famous Christian singer, was putting on a concert and also that Benny Hinn was in town doing a healing crusade that same night I arrived. That first night I took a walk down along the levee along the Mississippi river and prayed. I walked down to a bar and stood outside it. An older man came out to me and said, “What do you see boy?” Without thinking I said, “I see Jesus Christ.” The man stumbled back when I said that – visibly shaken.

Another man came out of the bar and stood next to me. I learned that he was a Native American from the Pacific Northwest where I had grown up and we got to talking. I told him of my hitchhiking adventure and that I had come to share the good news of Jesus with people. I don’t remember how it came up but I remember telling him that lust was a shameful sin. He tried to justify it saying that if women were willing to do it then what’s the harm. He finally admitted to me that it was wrong and I was able to pray with him.

MARDI GRAS (FAT TUESDAY)

New Orleans is crazy wicked during Mardi Gras. I saw pimps with prostitutes parading down the street and all sorts of vulgarity on display. I mostly stayed on the street closest to the river. I couldn’t even go to Bourbon Street (the fourth street in from the river and where most of the activity was) because it was just so spiritually oppressive.

I spent most of the time just praying and talking with people about Jesus. I approached people and prayed with whoever I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to. I soon got separated from the two guys I was ministering with because I spent too much time talking with one older guy.

I once found myself standing next to this younger guy about my age who exposed himself to a group of girls on a balcony for some beads. As he was zipping up his pants he looked down and read a Christian tract lying face up on the ground. The cover read, “How will we escape the fires of Hell?” This guy said, “Well, I’m just glad that God is a forgiving God.” This guy was like me. We were the same. We are all the same. Every one of us is in need of a forgiving God. We are all very screwed if God isn’t forgiving.

One time on the ferry I approached a young man to share Christ with him and he said to me, “Get the f*#! away from me or I’ll kill you.” I walked away. On that same ferry there was a ministry evangelism team doing a skit/song & dance and sharing about Jesus.

I wasn’t afraid because I had the philosophy that what you project into the world has a way of coming back to you. People respond to love and kindness. I wasn’t going around preaching a “turn or burn” message but simply sharing God’s love and praying with people. Scripture says that while we were at our worst Christ died for us and where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. It’s called “good news” for a reason. It’s good news for even the worst of us sinners.

My favorite experience happened on the day after Mardi Gras. For the first time in my life I set foot in a Catholic Church. I went with Charamie, a girl I had met there at YWAM, because she invited me. I was struck by how similar the message was compared with all the various other Christian churches I grew up in. I was also impressed that I didn’t feel judged even though I looked just like any other guy who had partied hard the night before. I had a hair wrap with the colors of Mardi Gras in my hair – Purple, Gold, and Green.

I was told by one of my new friends the following Christian representation of the colors: The purple represented the royalty of Jesus – the gold, the splendor and glory of his kingdom – and the green the new life he brings. The priest put the wafer on my tongue, “the body of Christ” he said and marked my forehead with the ashes in the form of a cross.

Charamie and I then spent the day with a homeless street musician named David who played the harmonica. He had a box full of harmonicas and would play the most amazing tunes. He would say to a passerby, “Spare change for a white piece of trash?” The joke was on them, he would say, because he was just exposing what they were thinking anyway. He showed us around and introduced us as locals. We had lunch together on Bourban Street and I had my first Po-Boy shrimp hoagie sandwich and for no apparent reason got a bloody nose in the restaurant. I had Charamie carry my money for me.  I told her that if people asked me for my money I would just give it all away.

That reminds me of the previous day when I had approached a man to share Jesus with him and he thought I was asking for some money. He had that look of feeling sorry for me and I could also tell he didn’t want to give me money but dug in his pockets for some change. Before I knew what was happening he was handing me some change and I didn’t know what to do except thank him. A woman nearby said, “You don’t need that! Give it back to him!” So I did. I did wonder if God was intervening at that moment perhaps saying through the incident, “No child of mine will ever have to beg on the street.”

The following day I was walking down Bourbon Street again with Charamie. As I walked past a restaurant I felt inclined to go in and pray for a woman. I walked in and went to the back where she was. I talked with her and when she told me that she was blind I wasn’t sure what to do. Did God want to heal her? I had no idea. I tried to pray for her but she became hostile, told us not to touch her and yelled at me to go away. The staff at the restaurant was giving me a bewildered and shocked look and so I left not knowing what in the world had just happened. What was that all about?

What does it mean to be led by the Spirit? Are we just ordered around blindly and compelled to do what He says? What if we don’t obey? Does he leave you like he did king Saul and move on to someone who will listen? Once, after I had got home, I was sitting on the couch praying and I heard the Lord say, “Stand up.” So I stood up. He said, “Go to the door.” So I went to the door. “Go back to the couch.” So I did. “Sit down.” So I sat back down. And then He asked me, “Is this what you want?”

I knew in that moment that a life of faith was far more than just blind obedience to some supernatural guiding voice. God has in mind for us something far more intimate. He wants a partnership. He wants a friendship. It would take many more years for me to learn this lesson… and I’m still learning.

What thoughts do you have in regards to the relationship God would want to have with you? What difficulties do we face in realizing this relationship? What can we do to foster it? Leave a comment!

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Listening to God

Before leading worship last Sunday, God put this on my heart to share:

There is allot that is competing for our hearts and many voices competing for our attention… God’s “still & small voice” among them. His voice is perhaps the quietest voice of all. He is jealous for us, Scriptures say, but he will not force anything on us. He will not manipulate and cajole you into his perfect pleasing (not to mention fun) will for you. Because that’s not what love does. Love is not coercive.

He has something precious to share with you today. He won’t hold all the yesterdays (when we ignored him) against us. Because that’s not what love does. Love holds no record of wrongs. (1 Cor. 15)

listen and prayHe is speaking and it’s up to us to listen. In fact, on one of the very few occasions that the Father has spoken from heaven to people on earth, he had this to say concerning Jesus, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”

I was praying this morning that I would hear all that Jesus had to say to me this day. To enlarge my heart to receive it. To give me the courage to follow and obey. I would pray the same for you.

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