Written by Mike Verkaik

A week ago today we celebrated our 6th anniversary Christmas dinner at the motel ministry. It is always special to travel down memory lane and be reminded how Abba Father opened the door to share the message of His heart to the residents on a cold, wintery day.

As we shared life together at the table, we had to set up an additional table as the forty-five residents in attendance broke records for our celebration. It was a wonderful night of fellowship and service by the sixteen volunteers who joined them.

Over the last few months many of the rooms at the motel have been filled with workers from Venezuela. This made our celebration extra special as Pastor Arturo joined us and we shared the gospel message of Jesus’ birth in Spanish and English.  It reminded me of angels words from Luke 2:10 (TPT):

But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid, for I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere! 

The message of our Father’s love gift is a message bringing hope to everyone everywhere. Our evening was a representation of the fulfillment of those words, as well as a picture of heaven as we worshiped, shared and prayed in both languages together.

After the celebration was over a volunteer and I had a conversation about the night. While sharing our reflections she said, “ All I can think of to describe the night is the word, “sweet.”  Later looking up the definition of sweet this description appeared: “it gives you great pleasure and satisfaction.”

Amen and amen, a perfect description of the night.  Our Christmas celebration represented a sampling of the Father’s heart for all people, a glimpse of heaven coming to earth, as the joy of our Messiah’s coming was shared and expressed with many of the forgotten, marginalized and broken residents.

May these pictures remind you of the joyous news proclaimed for you, and the challenge Jesus gave us to bring his sweet message to others.


A Timely Christmas Psalm of Hope

Around 70 years ago a group of people were uprooted from their life long homes because of their skin color. The then new South African government moved this group into cold and sterile housing projects.

The pain of that harsh decision left deep wounds and scars, which are still very much prevalent. Yet generations later, on a December Thursday morning Patty and I sat alongside many from this exact same community and witnessed the Christmas story being acted out by graduating preschool students. Gospel joy and hope filled the room.

You see just when it looks like darkness is winning. Christ the King breaks forth and offers the gift of hope to heal, transform hearts and bring you and me to our true home.

The other morning I was reflecting on Psalm 2 and a rush of thoughts flooded my mind as the Christmas story leapt off the page in living color. Maybe the best thing to do is, stop reading this blog and go right to Psalm 2 and let the Holy Spirit speak these timely Words to your heart.

Since the fall of man and the promise of the “seed of the woman,” “The kings of the earth” or as one version says “the power brokers of the world” …“scheme and confer together against the LORD and the Anointed One, (the Messiah/Christ),” vs. 2.

We see this with wicked King Herod at Jesus’ birth as well as today where that same demonic spirit is alive and well as the “nations rage” against Christ and His followers seeking to cast off His Kingdom of grace.

But our Sovereign God scoffs at His enemies since the message of Christmas is all about a King who is born and purposefully installed by the Father to rule over the nations both now and forever vs. 4-6.

In fact to me this is the most significant Christmas gift proclaimed in Psalm 2. Finding your true identity is a heart-stopping gift. It is finding your true home! The enemy seeks to keep you from hearing this message of truth because he knows the transforming glory it brings.

“You Are My Son today I have become your Father!” vs. 7

These were the same words spoken over Jesus at His baptism and at His transfiguration by His Father. And these are the words spoken over every son and daughter who receives the gift of Jesus Christ. Once these words seep into your heart from the Father through receiving the gift of Jesus-the chains of the enemy fall off. You are now birthed into a new Family. You will have found your true Identity.

Our world is raging today because their identity is in trying to fix their broken, empty, sin seared souls with gods of self that will never satisfy. Life turns chaotic when we don’t hear or know the Father’s voice of love through the gift of His Son.

And after 2000 years that Christmas Message is still flooding the earth with hope. As I sat at the southern tip of Africa listening to children sing and tell the glorious Christmas story of the gift of the Father. I wanted to shout! THIS very truth is bringing His children home through Jesus His Son, (see. vs. 8ff). Hope is very much alive.

Psalm 2, this Christmas Psalm proclaim to us how to receive and continue to find unspeakable joy in this gift of the Father’s love:

“Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son…” vs. 12

 A perfect picture of this is when the shepherds were awe struck by the message from heaven about King Jesus. They left the sheep and ran to Him and with the eyes of faith “Kissed the Son,” which means to surrender to His Kingly rule over your life.

When we “Kiss the Son” we receive His finished work for us on the cross. Covered by His perfect blood we are rushed into our heavenly home to hear the Father say:

“Welcome to your new Home My beloved children!”

We have this gift of knowing that no government nor scheme of man can remove us from our eternal home and the ever flowing  fountain of love for the Father above.

Oh what a gift to celebrate this Christmas season and beyond.










“This Little Light of Mine …”

“Higher and Higher”

“When I came up out of the water it was like a huge rock was lifted off my back, I felt joy and freedom that I can’t explain, the Father loves me!”

Sunday we were blessed to witness several baptisms of people who have come to Christ through Love in Action ministries. The quote above is from a lady who has journeyed through years of abuse, brokenness, and intense shame from her past.

The radiant smile on her face and the shouts of praise from her lips as she walked out of the ocean was a glorious testimony to the redeeming love of her Heavenly Father.

Do any of you remember the worship chorus from the 70’s that goes:

“Humble thyself in the sight of the LORD, and He will lift you up…higher and higher … up into Heaven?”

I asked this same question to my Africa friends thinking perhaps we could sing it on the beach before the baptisms-but the response was blank stares, so much for my sermon illustration.

The words of the song are from James 4:10 and provide a beautiful illustration and incredible promise about the mighty work baptism plays in the life of one who has dedicated his life to Jesus Christ.

To be baptized is a declaration of humility. It is to acknowledge sin has a stranglehold on our lives and we are unable to break its grip. We are dead in and of our selves and unable to find the life and love we desire in this world.

As the Spirit of God awakens us to come to terms with our spiritual death He points us to a crucified Christ who took our place. Jesus  bore our sin and shame so that we could cry out in humility, “Jesus have mercy on me a sinner!”  This declaration of faith attaches us to Christ’s work on the cross and breaks the curse of sin over us as we die with Him.

To be baptized means to be raised to new life with Christ. We have been lifted up out of the grave of sin and as the song says “higher and higher…up into heaven!”

Pastor Raymond, who leads the Love in Action church, is known as the dancing pastor. As we were worshiping on the beach, with many beach goers watching, he breaks out dancing. And He can really dance, filled with the spirit joy.

His dancing is a great demonstration of what our Heavenly Father does when we humble ourselves before Him. Our Father comes to get us and brings us higher and higher into His glorious presence where He rejoices over us with singing and dancing (see Zeph. 3:17).

As our spirits are transported into the heavenly realm we hear the same words Jesus heard at His baptism;

“This is my beloved Son, whom I love, I am so proud of Him!”

Over the last few weeks my wife Patty and I have witness about 40 baptisms, and every time reminded of the gift of humility. I know I am sinner saved by grace. I know salvation is all God’s mighty work. As I learn to die daily to my sin and self it opens up my spirit to be lifted up “higher and higher…up into heaven” to hear Father say, “Tim, you’re my boy, I love you, I’m proud of you.”

This is the only voice in the world that matters. This is the only voice that will heal and satisfy the deepest longing in our souls. May you hear His voice today!

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up,” James 4:10