Returning to the River

I love Tuesdays! It is a day where I get thrown back in the River of God’s amazing grace and float along watching the Father’s Kingdom unfold. Tuesday mornings I hang out with my friend Steve, who runs a ministry called Parker Task Force. Steve is a full time volunteer, leading about 150 other volunteers that serve the poorest and neediest in their community. They give away food, financial assistance, wise counsel, and a whole lot of love to people craving it. Steve and I try to spend time praying together but are often interrupted by Rotary members bringing money and gift cards, high school students coming to serve, church folk dropping off food donations, and an overwhelming responsibility for those coming in to seek help.

In the midst of all the commotion one can sense Abba’s love flowing, immersing volunteers and clients alike into the River of Heaven’s grace and mercy. Before I leave Steve walks me through the aisles and fills boxes with food and toiletries that are delivered to the harsh streets of Colfax for young women who sell their bodies in order to survive. As I load my trunk with the supplies, I think of the power of God’s grace and how it flows through people willing to give their lives away for God’s Kingdom. Those boxes represent people’s gifts given of time, talent, and treasures so others can be loved and blessed. The people serving are conduits of God’s love flowing through His children to other children created in His likeness.

Check out the powerful prophetic picture of a River flowing from the temple.

“So where the River flows everything will live.” Ezekiel 47:9

This glorious prophecy points to Pentecost and beyond when the Holy Spirit was unleashed on the followers of Christ and they jumped into the River of God’s gracious gifts of love to be given away to bring healing and salvation to the nations. The book of Acts displays a church splashing the world with the River of God’s grace and bringing the healing power of God’s Kingdom to earth. What turned the world upside down in a few hundred years was not big church buildings, budgets, or butts in the pew. It was people giving away the grace given to them through the Gospel in word and deed. History points to the fact that the most fertile ground was among the poor and the needy. They soaked in the River of God’s love, were transformed by it, and then empowered by the Holy Spirit flooded the nations with the River of life that was evident in their lives. The love of God flowed through them!

Every Tuesday I get a prophetic picture of the River of life and the call to jump in again. Just like in the book of Acts I believe God is calling His people, “the church,” to let the River flow in and through us. Revival is going to happen among the poor and the needy of our world and you and I are also poor and needy. I want to be apart of those who find the River, jump in and become powerful witnesses to the grace of God in their lives. What a prophetic picture of what 2017 can be like!!





A Christmas Wish – A Revelation of the Holy Spirit


I hate to admit this but after years of hearing Christmas songs sometimes they have become so familiar that I’m not fully engaged when I sing them in a church service. I know you are thinking I have a “ba humbug” spirit, I need some Christmas counseling, and you may be correct. But this past Sunday it was different. Our family was visiting church with some friends and as the praise team was leading a Christmas Classic I was overwhelmed. I can’t fully explain it-it was as if every word flew off the screen, captured my mind, and flooded my heart with a heavenly zeal.

After the service as we drove to a family Christmas gathering we all testified to a similar experience. In fact it wasn’t just the Christmas songs, it was the powerful word preached, the intimate time of communion that followed, and the closing songs and prayers that left me in tears. It was one of those services where you wanted to stay and soak in more of the presence of God. The whole service was a wellspring of grace to my thirsty soul.

Through the last few blogs I have been praying Ephesians 1:17-23, daily asking for first of all a greater revelation of the Father’s gracious love, (vs. 17). Secondly a deeper understanding and hope of the glorious inheritance that belongs to us when Christ returns (vs. 18). And now the third request from vs. 19-20.

…and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.

Paul is praying that the followers of Christ know the great power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us. The gift of the Holy Spirit reveals the Father’s love to us in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit plants deep in our hearts the deposit and hope of our glorious inheritance. What we encountered this past Sunday was a church filled with the Holy Spirit making old songs new and taking the Word of God as well as the Lord’s Supper and turning them into intimate encounters with the living God.

Today we need to be daily crying out for a fresh move of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We need to know the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us and seats us with Christ Jesus in the Heavenly realms. We need the Holy Spirit so that we can live like Christ and do the same things Christ did when He walked on the earth. We need to follow the example of the disciples who would not move and do ministry until they were filled full and overflowed with the Holy Spirit.

Sunday we walked into a simple church overflowing with the Holy Spirit and we praised God for the great Christmas gift we received that day. Join me with daily crying out for a fresh revelation of the Holy Spirit in our day. Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Wish List – A Revelation of your Inheritance


My good friend Nick is a serious road biker and way back when I was in seminary and he was in medical school he got me hooked. Recently he came out to visit his parents in Colorado and they invited Patty and I over for dinner, as soon as we arrived he escorted me to the garage and told me he had a surprise. My mouth hit the floor in shock as he presented to me one of his racing bikes- red ribbon and all. This is no ordinary bike; it has all the best components and is so incredibly light I can easily curl it with one arm. I quickly took it for a short spin and laughed in amazement, as I was totally caught off guard with such a gift!

That night the black, racing bike, made it into our home and found a nice warm place in my office. I’m itching to get on it except for the fact that winter hit hard and cold in Colorado. So I get up in the morning drink my cup of coffee, have my devotions, and glance over at the bike every now and contemplate the day when spring arrives and I can actually get on the saddle and see what she’s really like.


I know you are thinking what does this have to do with the Christmas Wish List and the three prayers from Ephesians 1:15-23? I’m glad you asked, check out verse 18, the second prayer request by Paul for the believers in Ephesus:

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, in the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.

The great apostle is praying that the followers of Christ would have the spiritual eyes to see their “glorious inheritance” that belongs to them. In Christ we are rich, we inherit a Kingdom as Peter says “that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). So Paul is praying for us to have a living hope, which is mindful of the glorious future around the corner when Christ returns again.

Back to the bike! Everyday I see it propped up against the wall and I find myself day dreaming of when it will be sunny and 70 degrees and I’m flying around the reservoir. I can picture myself gliding around on this awesome new ride with ease, and looking pretty cool :). Spiritually speaking our Good Father has given us the Holy Spirit, who Paul says is “the deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession,” (Eph. 1:14). The Holy Spirit points me to the promises of the Father, He makes the Word come alive and I can see glimpses with my spiritual eyes what is ahead. Even when things are spiritually dark and cloudy, I have the “guarantee” of the Spirit showing me the eternal Son and the glory of His coming Kingdom, where I will ride with Him for all eternity.

As I view the bike in my office, I get excited for the day when Spring will come and I can peddle to my hearts content, so too the Holy Spirit gives us glimpses of the most glorious day to come, when we will inherit and live in the eternal Kingdom of God.

My Christmas prayer for you is that you might be filled with an overflowing hope as the Holy Spirit gives you a revelation of your “glorious inheritance” that will soon be yours.

A Christmas Wish List – A Revelation of your Father


During the Christmas season I have a vivid childhood memory of pulling down the big J.C. Penny’s catalogue in the front closest of our home and sprawling on the living room floor and drooling over the latest Christmas toys. Yes, I would make and my wish list and every so often on Christmas Eve the wish became a reality. Like the year I got the G.I. Joe helicopter or another year I opened a racecar track!

Now that I’m all grown up, I’m trying to learn how to become a child again and maintain that same passion I had when I compiled my wish list. Recently I pulled my Bible out of my backpack and read from the book of Ephesians. The verses in chapter 1 certainly caught my attention. They are actually three requests that Paul prays for the Ephesian church. This is the first request from Ephesians 1:17

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better.

The Holy Spirit caused this request/prayer to fly off the page and into my heart. I wrote the verse on a notecard and decided to daily pray this prayer, put it on my wish list if you will. But I am not only asking God to delivery this spiritual blessing to me but also to the people I dearly love and minister to.

The other thing that struck me about this verse is that it matches the vision for Oceans Ministries ….To make the love of the Father known to spiritual and physical orphans around the world.

This first request of Paul in verse 17 emulates the reason why this ministry began and the burning passion of what Oceans Ministries hopes to accomplish in the lives of others. The healing that our world needs, the hope our hurting country longs for, and the power the church of Christ needs so desperately flows from a revelation of the Father’s love. That is why Paul begins his prayer by asking the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ to flood the church with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they may know the Father better… As I weekly minster on the streets of Denver, share the vision presented in Journey to Father’s Heart to prisoners, churches, etc. I see the deep wounds and pain that can only be healed by heart knowledge. The heart knowledge obtained from the Father’s love. This is the only cure for the curses in our sinful world.

This first request to receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation points to the fact that we need the Spirit to open our minds so that we may know who the Father is. This Father who is good and wants to give good gifts to His children. We come to know His goodness when we see the gift of His Son Jesus. Jesus was born as a spotless lamb, died in our place, took on our curse of sin, so that we can be adopted children and enter into the Father’s love filled home.

This is the greatest of all gifts, knowing our true Daddy who loves us fully in His Son Jesus. Until we grasp the revelation of a Good Father we limit the abundant life available and instead live as insecure children writing a long wish list filled with gifts that will never satisfy the soul.

So pull your Bible out, turn to Eph. 1:15-23 and make this prayer your Christmas wish list, ask your Father to reveal His goodness and love to you and those around you. Those who come to know their Father will forever live in the security of His love which has the power to transform our fractured world for His glory!

Oh….and the other two-requests flow out of this first one. Everything in life is radically impacted by our relationship to their Heavenly Father and will be in the next few blogs. Go ahead and read ahead to get a sneak peek!