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I’m up early starting the morning fire in the wood stove. We are so blessed to be warm this morning as the ice storm has taken it toll on many family’s leaving them without electricity. My fire wood is just a little damp so its takes a little more effort to get it going. I was just thinking how relationship compare to a fire. When its working right we warm up to one another and find such comfort. When its not, to be honest we just get burned. I think we all understand that like a fire, relationships need to be cared for and maintained or they just burn out. Every once in a while you find a friend that God himself puts in your path and those we need to pay special attention to. Sometimes it’s through those people that the Lord speaks to us.

If you have the time read with me of my account of the outward spiral of sparks that came from meeting one person and all the threads and connections that came from that original fire. Hang on here we go.

It started with my great friend Kato and His invitation to come with him to His home in Uganda. A few days into the mission trip we were in the home of Tim Way a missionary from Tulsa Oklahoma. We had relaxed after a great meal Tim’s wife Jill had fixed and sit down at the computer to try to send an email back home. Tim asked me if I lived near Kansas city knowing we were from Missouri and if we knew about Metro Christian Fellowship and Mike Bickle “before IHOP”. I said we had been hanging around their meetings for about 10 years but I didn’t know him personally. He then said I think you are suppose to connect with my friends Dave and Joanne Norton who live in Nebraska they have spent time here in Uganda as missionaries and have a heart very similar to yours and looking to connect with Kansas City.

“SIDE NOTE” A few days later we were at John Mulende’s church  “The Trumpet Center” in Kampala Uganda. John asked us if we knew Mike Bickle and we we said not personally but we could get a message to Him. We took a short video of Him addressing Mike with an invitation to come to Uganda. Years later while at a transformations meeting in Kansas city with Wes Adams they meet. As I watched from the back as they shook hands I thought Wild how things connect in God’s timing.

“Back To Tim” Tim seemed so sure of meeting them I dared not contact them. We connected by email first but I don’t email well or often so we decided to meet in person. They came to Kansas city and stayed with Dianna and I and we hit it off, Dave plays the keyboard and is a great worship leader and full of wisdom and humility. Joanne is the christian version of military secret ops with great faith and discernment. Together they make the perfect couple and the Lord seems to have them at the right place at the right time.

Through the years we have connected at key times and I am so thankful for them. Joanne unlike myself is great at sending out emails and I remember time and time again requests to pray for Her friend Susie.

Susie Jones is a trooper but fights her battles with constraints most of us could not handle. Susie is paralyzed and because of her condition she has had frequent health concerns. We have all prayed for her for years but Joanne has been a friend to her like no other. Several years ago I had several dreams about the Mississippi river and wanted to travel up to its source and pray. Joanne reminded me that Susie lived in the region and maybe we could meet there and pray for Susie. We did just that and had a great time. Ever since that time Joanne’s friend became my friend. She loves to pray, I need lots of prayer with all the crazy traveling I do… I know if no else does Susie is praying for me. I left on one trip and asked my Mom to call Susie and give her updates on the mission trip and its seems they have now become great friends and call each other every two weeks. The fire just keeps sparking and igniting new fires of relationship.

The day we walked into Susie’s house my eyes caught a painting on the wall. All week I would find myself staring at the picture. It appeared light was shining out of it. I would move to different angles to see if that was possibles. Finally I asked Susie what is the deal with the painting I am not and art guy and it seems to be drawing my attention. Susie explained that her son Jay is an artist and that he had given that to her as a gift. She went on to say that he calls it Illumination. I told her that if he ever made prints of it I wanted to purchase one. Long story short that happened and My wife Dianna had it professionally framed and is wrapped up waiting for Christmas morning. I leave in a few days for Uganda and fly in on Christmas eve I can’t wait all my grand-kids will be there opening their gifts and when the last one is open I will open the painting and hang it on the wall near the wood stove. My favorite place snuggled up with Dianna the babies the fire and  the painting reminding me forever the barn for me is my life its old warn full of memories yet still full of purpose. At this Christmas season it will stand as special reminder to me that of all the places God the father could have chosen to reveal His precious son He picked out a stable a barn so to speak. I may be an old barn but the King of Glory resides inside and when you see me shining its not me its the King Shine on Jesus Shine on.

Here is the picture enjoy it, I only ask you be honor Jay’s Art and if you like it purchase one from Him. I look forward to seeing Jay’s art continue to display God’s gift. You may contact Jay by email at  jgraphics@gvtel.com

Dec 2007

illumination.jpg

1 year Later Dec 2008

the-fire

Update the picture is on the wall this Christmas

mydog

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January 13th early in the morning my wife Dianna woke me up and told me “you sure are sleeping loud” I knew it was true I had been dreaming I was back in Africa and I had been dropped into the middle of devastation. I was working to get orphans into homes. It was overwhelming, one minute I was in Africa the next I would be back in Missouri. Then the dream slowed down into slow motion. I had been trying to get someone to explain to me what had brought about such devastation in Africa and how I ended up in the middle of it all.

There it was the longest train I had ever seen, it was a old coal burning train. It was pulling passenger cars and on each car was written Show Me Orphan Train. In the windows were little faces pressed against the glass. At this point I am crying looking into the faces of desperation to be loved, it was overwhelming. In the dream Linda a 20 year old Ugandan girl that is living with us while going to college pointed at the children and said “John it’s about them” I woke immediately with all kinds of emotions.

I thought about the meeting I have today with my friends from Alma Missouri introducing them to Gizaw my friend from Ethiopia who will be talking to us about the need for orphanages in Ethiopia. I thought about our friends John and Sharon who minister in Kenya that had just been at the house talking about the conditions there. I thought about my own experiences in Uganda, Egypt and Ethiopia.

Then I thought about a teaching that Regina Shank does on overcoming rejection and She tell’s stories about the orphan trains that would move from the east coast to the Midwest dropping off children to waiting families. Of course there are some bad stories about abuse and using the kids as slave labor. As a whole the Midwest provided homes, I myself have a great grandmother who was an orphan and was taken in to a wonderful family in Beatrice Nebraska.

Here is an advertisement below that appeared in the Troy Free Press Feb 11, 1910. Troy is in Lincoln County.

Wanted
HOMES for CHILDREN
A company of homeless children from the East will arrive at
TROY, MO., ON FRIDAY, FEB. 25th, 1910
These children are of various ages and of both sexes, having been thrown friendless upon the world. They come under the auspices of the Children’s Aid Society of New York. They are well disciplined, having come from the various orphanages. The citizens of this community are asked to assist the agent in finding good homes for them. Persons taking these children must be recommended by the local committee. They must treat the children in every way as a member of the family, sending them to school, church, Sabbath school and properly clothe them until they are 17 years old. The following well-known citizens have agreed to act as local committee to aid the agents in securing homes:
O. H. AVERY   E. B. WOOLFOLK   H. F. CHILDERS
WM. YOUNG   G. W. COLBERT
Applications must be made to, and endorsed by, the local committee.
An address will be made by the agent. Come and see the children and hear the address. Distribution will take place at the
Opera House, Friday, Feb. 25, at 1:30 p.m.
B. W. TICE and MISS A. L. HILL, Agents, 105 E. 22nd St., New York City. Rev. J. W. SWAN, University Place, Nebraska, Western Agent

 orphantrain1.jpg

Orphan Train in Black & White – Diamond Someday “above”

Here are the words to a blue grass song: Orphan Train “below”

By (Utah Phillips)

Once I had a darling mother, though I can’t recall her name
I had a baby brother who I’ll never see again
For the Children’s Home is sending us out on the Orphan Train
To try to find someone to take us in

cho: Take us in, we have rode the Orphan Train
     Take us in, we need a home, we need a name
     Take us in, oh won’t you be our kin
     We are looking for someone to take us in

I have stolen from the poorbox, I’ve begged the city streets
I’ve swabbed the bars and poolrooms for a little bite to eat
In my daddy’s old green jacket and these rags upon my feet
I’ve been looking for someone to take me in

The Children’s Home they gathered us, me and all the rest
They taught us to sit quietly until the food was blest
Then they put us on the Orphan Train and sent us way out West
To try to find someone to take us in.

The farmers and their families they came from miles around
We lined up on the platform of the station in each town
And one by one we parted like some living lost-and-found
And one by one we all were taken in

Now there’s many a fine doctor or a teacher in your school
There’s many a good preacher who can teach the Golden Rule
Who started out an orphan sleeping in the freezing rain
Whose life began out on the Orphan Train.

Well I have to get going and get ready for Church, I just wanted to get the dream down before I forgot it. I hope it will stir you up to pray for those all over the world that have no place to call home and no one to call family. They need to know they have a father who has declared so from heaven. Some times we need to be reminded as the church we are His hands and Feet and more than that we are His Family with open arms and open eyes.

Psalms 68:4-6  Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds– his name is the Lord– and rejoice before him. 5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Part 2   https://riverflowsdown.wordpress.com/2008/01/16/show-me-orphan-train-dream-part-2/

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On December the 15th 2007 I will be heading to Uganda east Africa. It will be my 6th visit in last 7 years. My Friends Shawn and Laura Charles lead the first team I went on along with with our friend Kato from bible college. I was captured by an event that happened that year that will never let me go. This is that story.

Floyd McClung was our pastor at the time and had spent most of His life on the mission field with YWAM. He was giving instruction about practical things like the difference in cultures between a cold climate and warm climate. Floyd made a statement that I took to heart at the deepest level. He said that He learned early on that a missionary who is married must look at things with their spouse in mind when traveling without them. Explaining that men in particular give quick answers like this. Wife ; Honey how’s the trip? Husband; Great! Wife ; What happened. Husband ; Awesome things. Wife ; Tell me about it. Husband ; You know lots of ministry. You get the picture Its called communication and unless it has to do with hunting or fishing or sports we men don’t do it or at least not well. We were challenged to spend time looking at things our wives would notice if they were with us and to tell them about it when we got home. Sounded very wise so I kept that out in front of me.

 On the first full day in Uganda our organizer Derrick Kiboneka took us to John Mulinde’s church the trumpet center to preach at the noon hour service. As we walked about a half a mile through the city to get to the church my eyes were wide open in shock. Street kids every where looking for a hand out. We had been warned that the kids would take any money they got and buy rags soaked with fuel that they would huff to get high. We could give them food but not money. Just up ahead I saw them, two little girls well under 10 years old. They were holding hands and with the free hand out stretched looking for help. We had nothing to give we were totally unprepared for that collision with reality. I reached into my pocket and all that was there was a pack of cool mint Ice Breakers gum. I pulled out two pieces and put them in their hands as they looked back at me as to say what are we to do with this? A lump formed in my throat and my eyes began to water up as I tried to ignore them pulling on my heart strings. I told myself keep going you can’t save the world.

The instructions that Floyd had given came rushing in. What would my wife do keep walking! I could hear Her saying in my head ” John you can’t just leave them here”. I shook it off and kept going and had a great day, saw many wonderful things the Lord was doing in Uganda. But then came the night and I was all snug in the mosquito net covered cot. I closed my eyes and there they were with their hands out and I am not to much of a he man to admit I cried myself to sleep.

The truth of the matter is I can still see them not as clear as I once did oh but they are there. They are older now maybe 12 or 13. I pray someone more compassionate than I found them and rescued them from the life on the streets. A million more all over Uganda flooding south from the war torn north. While I snuggle with my wife and grandchildren in front of the warm wood stove early this morning I am thinking of them. My heart is once again softened for the thought that maybe we together can make a difference.

I will turn 46 this year while in Uganda. Like the old song “Its my Birthday and I can cry if I want to” This time it will not be tears of sadness but of gladness. I will be filming the real deal, the need and the small vision the Lord has given some of my friends and I its called Abba’s House. The vision is to build  “childrens home” on site at pastor Richard Kaaya’s property overlooking beautiful Lake Victoria. We will be working with Pastor Billy Bope from Indiana who pioneered the school on the property with Richard and Debra Kaaya. The children will both have a place to call home and a good education. I will be taking two college students with me who will be helping me with videoing and interviewing and they will be setting up means of doing adoptions. They have already been pioneering in that area.

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The pictures above were taken at Richards school the planned location of Abba’s House

 

 

Abba House , Entebbe Uganda

Abba House , Entebbe Uganda

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Hero is a word reserved to honor those who have risen above the norm

A hero is a person who ‘s presence brings peace to the torential storm 

Hero, He rose from the muck and the mire that was to be my lot, for my soul He fought

Hero, I rolled the dice, He left paradise, My rescuer He paid the Price, My Hero Jesus Christ

The storm still rages, sin calls for its wages, prisoniers like dogs in cages, I found Jesus in the Pages  

The Book call the Word, set me free like a bird, PEACE BE STILL, Oh yeah I heard

Now I bust a rhyme, yet I served no time, not my dime, but my grim and crime  

Hero you washed me in your own Blood, over me like a flood, oh what precious Blood

Hero forever, leave me NO never, Your Plan was so cleaver, God became man, Jesus My Hero   

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Fear-of-God will be all his joy and delight.

Fear of God , those words alone tend to stop people in their tracks maybe one of the most misunderstood truths of scripture. See what the word says and you may be surprised! Please look at a Hebrew word related to the Fear of the Lord below and all the places in the old Testament where it is used. The word usage will be in bold and underlined. I define the fear of the Lord as this : The intersection between the Holiness of God and us in our Sin as we die to self put on Christ and are excepted as Righteous in Him. See if you agree!

Prof text : Is 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

Strongs 7306 Ruwach (Hiphil) to smell, scent, perceive odour, accept

Gen 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done

Gen 27:27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:

Ex 30:38 Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people.

Lev 26:31 Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people.

De 4:28 And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.

Jud 6:9 Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.

1 Sam 26:19 Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods.

Job 39:25 He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

Ps 115:6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:

Is 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

Amos 5:21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.

Is 11:3
NLT He will delight in obeying the LORD. He will never judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay.

NAS And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;

ASV And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;

RSV And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear;

The Message Fear-of-God will be all his joy and delight. He won’t judge by appearances, won’t decide on the basis of hearsay.
There we have it the idea is smell and in particular the smell of an excepted sacrifice as it is being consumed by fire. Isaiah chapter 11 :1-10 speaking of the messiah Yeshua”Jesus” would minister under the anointing of Holy Spirit. There is a picture of the 7 fold Spirit of God which simple means manifold “one Spirit”. As Jesus walked this earth literally as a young man He grew in wisdom and stature laying down His will and surrendering to the moment by moment leading of Holy Spirit. These verses in Isaiah give depth and insight into what that was like. Not judging by the natural but moving by the Spirit Of God. This I think was an example to us to be lead by the Spirit and to walk in the Spirit. Here is Isaiah’s revelation from God.

1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

I have underlined the 7 Manifold natures of Holy Spirit. Notice how they are in pairs only the Spirit of the Lord is listed alone. You get the picture of a menorah with the Spirit of the Lord being the center shaft and each pair balanced out on each side of the center making a 7 fold lamp stand. We get a clear picture of Jesus being the light of the world as His sacrifice on the cross was a sweet smelling savor to the father. Being excepted consumed by the fire of the Spirit. As we are in Christ our lives also are a sweet smell to the father as seen in 2 corn 2:14-16 .14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Below is a copy of the cover of a recorded music CD which demonstrates the above idea. I co-wrote the music with Mikki Olson. Maybe one day we will get the files of it up on the web.

menorah-old-and-new.jpg

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