Learning the Language of Heaven – “Shout it Out!”


In a world overrun by a constant storm of messages of negativity, hate, discord, and fear, we can easily fall into despair. Recently I have heard many people say they don’t watch the news anymore and they have turned off social media accounts because it drains them of peace.


For some reason I have been contemplating the word “peace.” Wondering what brings peace and what causes it to vanish. For me I know that what I choose to hear and listen to makes a definite impact on whether I experience peace or its absence.


So the other day I investigated the language of heaven from the book of Revelation. After all you can’t find a purer form of communication than what takes place around the celestial throne of God.


Did you know there is a lot of “shouting” going on in the heavenly realm? This shouting is more like a roar that shakes everything around you. The closest thing that comes to my mind is 75,000 crazy fans shouting and jumping up and down when the Denver Broncos pull off a stunning victory. But even this can’t even come close to what is happen in Heaven right at this very moment:


“After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a mighty shout, ‘Salvation comes from our God on the throne and from the Lamb!’ ” (Rev. 7:9-10 NLT).


What could cause such a “mighty shout” from people from every tribe and nation on earth? A victory that has been guaranteed from a loving Father who sent His only Son as a perfect spotless Lamb to take away the sins of the world. This united throng has been given a pure white victors jersey from the Father through the work of the Son and can’t help but scream out their FREEDOM and VICTORY in Christ.


Contemplating this “shouting” in heaven has convicted me to refocus my attention back to the Throne and allow what I hear to ignite my soul with a heaven inspired shout. Watch what will happen when you listen to the language of Heaven and begin to join in with your own shouts, you will be drawn into Heaven’s perfect peace! As one holiday has ended and the Christmas season is upon us, may you hold fast to the peace we receive through Christ Jesus, a peace that the world cannot fill!


So on the count of 3 let out a good shout of praise, 1,2, 3!!!!!!!!






“This is How I Fight My Battles…”

Written by Mike Verkaik

For the past month I have had the same song going through my mind. I first heard it with Tim at the conference we attended in Redding, CA. Music has always had a significant influence on my life and as the worship team sang the lyrics of Surrounded, the words resonated with my heart. The verses are as follows:

There’s a table that You’ve prepared for me

In the presence of my enemies

It’s the body and the blood you shed for me

This is how I fight my battles


In the valley I know that You’re with me

And surely your goodness and mercy follow me

So my weapons are praise and thanksgiving

This is how I fight my battles


It may look like I’m surrounded

But I’m surrounded by you

After Tim and I sang Surrounded for the first time we headed back to our room, both humming and singing the chorus. As we discussed the impact of the worship in our room, it was discovered we were blessed by a different section of the song.

The song was birthed out of Psalm 23. Tim’s heart was moved by the thought of the table that our Abba Father has prepared for us, while I was impacted by Biblical truth that we fight our battles with weapons of praise and thanksgiving.

This past weekend the song Surrounded was the focus of our meditation at the Thanksgiving Celebration Oceans hosted for the residents at our motel ministry in Holland, MI.

As we set the tables and prepared the formal dinner/worship time, we experienced many challenges and difficulties. It was brought out in the meditation, that we did it, because we loved them and desired for them to have a special night with each other. Likewise, our Father has prepared a table for us, one that is full of goodness, mercy, grace and love that He lavishes on us. He does this in the middle of our challenges and difficulties. In the midst of our messes, sins, doubts and fears. It is in that setting that He longs for us to sit at His table and converse with Him, to taste and see that He is a good, good Father.

We finished our evening with a time of thanksgiving. Each person shared at least one thing they were thankful for. It was a beautiful moment, sitting at the table with our friends and hearing in the midst of their difficulties how they experienced the blessings of their Father. After all remembering and giving praise and thanksgiving to our Abba Father is the way to fight our battles against an enemy that wants our thoughts to be on our past and present failures.

Abba Father’s Play House – A Standing Stone to the Goodness of the Father

What a blessing to share that in October Oceans Ministries celebrated its 4th Birthday! As the board reflected over the past four years we were overwhelmed by the Father’s faithfulness and the countless ministry opportunities provided.

Beautiful Gate Care Center in Lesotho Africa is near and dear to our hearts and Oceans was recently asked to provide funding to erect a new building that would house a space specifically as a playroom for the children. If you have volunteered at Beautiful Gate you likely recall that the soft play room for the babies as well the toddler room in one of the houses is woefully over crowded and challenging for staff.

Oceans Ministries’ board felt the Father strongly calling us to provide the funds as a way to give Him Praise and Thanksgiving for His faithfulness. The building would stand as a testimony to the Goodness of the Father and a way to say thank you to all of you who have prayed for and supported our call to Make the Love of the Father Known to Physical and Spiritual Orphans around the World.

Abba’s Play Room represents a physical picture of the spiritual reality of the Kingdom of God. Paul states in Romans 14:17:

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” 

Each of us is an orphan who has been adopted into the family of God by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. And because of that amazing love we have become the Father’s beloved children and brought into His playroom that is filled with perfect peace and joy through the Holy Spirit.

We believe Abba’s Play Room will be a living testimony to what it means to live as joy-filled children in His Kingdom.

This Thanksgiving season we want to give praise and thanks for all of you who have joined Oceans Ministry on the Journey to Make the Love of the Father Known. You have been part of a miracle from the Father’s hand that shouts aloud His praise over our world. We pray Abba’s Play Room will serve as a symbol of our deepest gratitude to both God and to you for partnering with us in the Gospel.

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea,” Habakkuk 2:14.

With sincere thanksgiving,

Steve Dykstra, Ken & Danell Czarnecki, Mike Verkaik, Tim Spykstra





Living in the Cloud – Love


Since last week’s blog on Hope I have received several cards, a coffee mug, and engaged in several conversations about Hope! Even on Monday morning as I sat down to write this entry I opened my journal and Romans 5:5 jumped off the page.


Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.


After multiple encounters with hope this past week I am intentionally tuning into what the Spirit wants me to hear. Romans 5:5 is a perfect scripture to describe why I believe our Good Father places us in the Cloud of Unknowing.


Take a moment to read the four verses that precede Romans 5:5, notice the words faith and hope are used to describe moving within the cloud journey and experiencing the amazing overwhelming love of the Father.


Faith in the work of Jesus brings us into a right relationship with the Father and keeps us in a secure place of hope-even in the midst of trials His love will never let us go.


Faith + Hope = the Love of the Father


Last week I talked with a good friend who has been experiencing a cloud for quite sometime. In the midst of deep pain the Holy Spirit met him as he was watching his granddaughter peacefully sleep. It was during this time that his heart was overwhelmed by this precious, innocent, helpless infant. The Spirit reminded my friend, “this is how I love you my son.” He was brought to tears as he shared this holy moment with me.


God speaks to us though the Holy Spirit in different ways to remind each of us that the greatest gift of learning to live in the cloud is by faith and hope; these truths lead us to remember that, we are not orphans but we belong to a loving Father.


I’m convinced the Father uses the Cloud of Unknowing to bring us to the greatest of truths poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit: We are not orphans, but beloved son’s and daughter’s. This priceless gift of love transforms us from the inside out and gives us a deeper desire for the will of our Heavenly Father and His glory!


If you are experiencing a cloud, keep walking forward in faith and hope in His promises. Go forth with relentless trust that the Father’s love IS in the midst of the cloud with you, and an even greater measure through His Spirit is coming for your good and His glory.


And now these three things remain: Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:13