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Holy Spirit

The Characters in “Healing of the Hearts”

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Many of the lead characters in Carl’s Christian novel “Breaking Light: Healing of the Hearts” (soon to be published) are inspired by real people. The names of the real people are never given. Try to identify who they are. Mark, the American President, is created from a real person. The quotes of the person are scattered in the book. The message Mark gives in the last chapter on a mountain in Switzerland to 18 of his spiritual warriors is created from the outline of a message given by the real person. And now I ache to hear that message again from a real-life pastor to his church. I never have. The outline was used by Moses in Duet 11.

Now see if you can identity the real-life woman that inspired the singer in this Excerpt from “Healings of the Heart”


Healing of the Hearts (Book 2)

Healing of the Hearts


In the second book of the Breaking Light series, Healing of the Hearts (not out yet), the new President is aware creative commons: Healing of the heartthere is much wounding and a deep need for healing and reconciliation, even within the church. Mark Pearson, as the new President,  has a vision to lead the nation to this healing and to an awakening by mobilizing the church, in unity, to take the lead.

Mark is saying in a pre-inaugural speech to Christian leaders:

‘I want to see a significant work of God in the restoring of America.’

I want to see healing, reconciliation, and a bold work of the Holy Spirit in this nation. I believe it can happen.”

Soon you see a flashback from 2033 to 2014: a wounded soldier is brought back from the Middle East and is at Walter Reed Hospital. He is on life support and critical. From his bed, the soldier stares at the ceiling and has no voluntary movement. Paralyzed. The soldier’s father, a billionaire businessman, offers to pay a famous and wealthy Christian singer whatever she asks if she can bring his son out of wherever this is – and they don’t know what it is, yet. The businessman only pays if she is successful, but he believes God can use her for the healing. Down the hall from the soldier is a second soldier with his face blown away by an IED and now blind and angry. The singer realizes the blind and angry soldier holds the key she needs for the healing of the soldier on Life Support. The singer will need more than her angelic voice and prodigious beauty to see it happen.

In some posts here soon, you will see each of the key characters in the book are created from people who have inspired me deeply: The President, the singer. a very famous doctor, a German theologian, and more. Every one exists or existed in real life. The soldier on life support and paralyzed? That’s me. In 1989 I was suddenly paralyzed from the shoulders down and told by the doctors I would never walk again. I walk today by God’s grace.

Read free excerpts of this second book Healing of the Hearts

Order first book of the novel Breaking Light: The Birth of a Hero :


Restoring America -Carl Townsend

“Paralysis (masquerading as “confusion”) haunts every man when a looming decision will require a lot of us.”
John Eldredge

Restoring America

Founding Fathers

I want to see American restored. Like Nehemiah, I share a deep pain for my country (America) that has lost its way – no visioon, no passion, no leadership, no freedom, and no security. It hurts. There is a deep, deep burden there to see the America again for which those early forefathers bought with, sometimes, their lives.

In this lostness I see two churches. One is a church that tries to adapt to a dying culture and paradigm. This church, as in Germany before World War II, is experiencing a slow death in America. The members hardly recognize their dying and they continue to do what they’ve always done as the nation continues to fall, trying to adept to a failing culture. This is the cultural church.

The other is the confessional church. This Church sees there is a war, a spiritual war. They move to the front line, risking everything. Like Nehemiah, they take on the burden, the pain. We see Nehemiah praying and fasting for 40 days, asking God to forgive him and the nation. In World War II Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a part of this Church.

So I asked God what this meant for me.

I felt led to begin a multi-book Christian fictional novel that shows a path to national rebirth.

The story follows the strategies identified by George Otis (see his Informed Intercession: Transforming Your Community Through Spiritual Mapping and Strategic Prayer) where Otis found total transformation (spiritual, political, economic, healing, agricultural) had already started in certain cities and regions. The key components that were always there in each story included persevering leadership, fervent, united prayer, and often power encounters, diagnostic research and spiritual mapping. The basic problem today lies not with a particular person or political party, but rather is spiritual. There is a real war going on, and God calls you to be a part of it.

I started by defining some aspects of this story in the novel. In the first book of the series, the leadership is established.

The story is positive, uplifting, and exciting. You see hope and faith. The bad guys don’t stand a chance. God is in charge and this Church is committed to God’s authority.

  • The story has mystery, adventure, romance, risk, suspense.
  • It’s a heart story. Lots of hearts, romance, and love.
  • It is a VERY positive story full of hope and faith. The bad guys are out of the WH and Congress by the end of the first book. From that there is a lot of healing to do.
  • The conflict is real. We almost lose our protagonists at times. The actions of the bad guys, however, don’t dominate the story line. The story is driven from the characters and their relationships.
  • The story is biblically-based.
  • The plot line and story is believable. It is built from the stories of what God has done in my life and the lives of others. Sure, there are miracles, but no magic hat tricks.
  • Lots of music. Music is one of the only activities that activates, stimulates, and uses the entire brain. Book 2, in particular, has even more than Book 1. Dancers as well. It is no accident that Psalms is the longest book in the Bible.
  • There is overt and some direct evangelism in the story.
  • The story is highly mythic. The story begins with a lone young man striking out on a desolate wilderness trail to find a spiritual community he has heard about. The wilderness is not only physical, but also emotional and spiritual. In the second chapter there is a mist, a river, and more. All are mythic symbols. At the beginning our young man is frustrated, unable to change anything from his cultural church. In the second chapter he is frustrated, lost in a mist (another symbol), and has fallen on the ground and lying in the trail. He can hear the river (another symbol) and struggles to find the water he needs. It is at this point he meets the confessional Church.

You see all of these in Book 1. An early copy of my first chapter is online and free here. (The map in the chapter can be blown up on the PC using Shift-Ctrl buttons on the keyboard & mouse), the entire book is at Amazon.com. I’m working on Book 2 now. It is really fun.

Get involved – Let’s restore America

Book 1, Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero is already out and and can be ordered from Amazon.com:

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero (PB)- $11.00 by Carl Townsend More information (“fiction”)
First book in a fictional novel series about what happens in America when then the Nehemiah strategies are applied.

Read the First Chapter Free

Here is Carl’s book on the Nehemiah story:

Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality – $18.86 by Carl Townsend (PB) (Non-fiction)
Carl in this book tells the story of Nehemiah. The nation was without vision, passion, or security.. Sounds like America today! He turned the nation completely around in 52 days. At the same time he faced internal and external warfare.

 What”s Next?

Carl is hard at work on Book 2 in the Breaking Light series. The working title is Breaking Light: The Healing of the Hearts. Don’t expect a lot of political games as the new President begins his term. He is far, far more interested in seeing healing and being a catalyst for healing. Lots more music. The President is shifting leadership to the people and making the government smaller and less visible. Also you will discover the back story of the first book made visible in Book 2.

Getting Your Message Through Part 1- Carl Townsend

megaphoneIf your are serious about God’s call on your life, God will give you  a burden, a message. You then begin to respond that call and call other people to join you in terms of that call God is placing on your heart. That is your message. There are many ways to get your message out: social media, a blog, magazine articles, authoring/publishing a book, speaking, singing. and more.  How you share is important, but also here are some issues common to all of these.

  1. Who shares your message? Identify, in contemporary language, who is your tribe? Who also owns the same message? This “tribe” defines others you know that share your burden and message. This identifies your tribe and may exist within your current church, a viral church, your network of churches, or you may need to create your own “Church”. One major pastor shared with me as I left for a new job: “Stay with the vision God gives you, even if it costs your your life. Join a church that affirms that vision. If  you cant find it,, build it yourself with others that share it. As an example, back in the eighties Dr. Joe Aldrich began sounding a message that he wanted to see one city or region anywhere totally transformed by the Power of the Holy Spirit. By the early nineties, George Otis, Jr. had identified a dozen cities in the world where that was already happening.  His Sentinel group published the video story of four of these cities on  a DVD. Last time I talked with Otis, he had identified some 250 cities or regions worldwide, with fires started in some 500 more as this grows. This didn’t make your local newspaper, did it? In my own city. Dr. Joe identified those pastors who wished to see this locally and called them to prayer. We had a database of 1800 churches in our four-county area. In the Christian language, you define the harvest force.
  2. Define your audience very specifically. The “audience” defines those whom God wishes to hear your specific message. To use the Internet, which is very inexpensive, you need to aim at a very specific audience. This is very different from traditional advertising, which casts its net to a very broad audience to get a few people within it taking action. Your audience should be a group of people you are naturally called to. In the Christian language, this is your harvest field.
  3. Define your message. What is your specific message to your audience? What is your burden and passion? In Chapter 1 of Nehemiah, what was Nehemiah’s burden and passion? It was not building a wall. This wall isn’t even mentioned in the first chapter. For example, it might be “Restore America” or “Transformation of America” as the message. Your message should be one that your audience can understand and relate to their heart -need.
  4. Add value to the vision of your audience. For this you need to know the need of your audience. This is heart question. What is the heart of your audience? Now you need to communicate your message in terms of the heart need. With Nehemiah, the heart need was security. Jerusalem, or what was left of it was destroyed and they were surrounded by enemies. Nehemiah was going to address that by building the wall. Their real need was a unity and oneness and spiritual recovery.  He spoke to that by leading them in building the wall. The wall was the vehicle for the real need. Some years ago in Portland we had discovered using powerful mapping tools a Hispanic community without a church and needing one. Their want was ESL classes to learn English so they could get jobs. We started by addressing their need. We can confuse needs and wants if we are not careful. Define each for your audience, then add value.
  5. Define the warfare. What is keeping you from carrying your message forward? Finances? time? education? health? depression? Define your counter strategies for each. If the Lord wants you to deliver this message, He will provide a way if you commit. You’re the “postman”. Your job is to deliver the mail, not fight the dogs.
  6. Go personal. When younger I, like others, kept a journal (still do). I’d  get upset if anyone read it.  Now I journal on Facebook. So does a lot of my tribe. And I want you to read it. The personal posts that I do get read  the most, and are also shared the most.  If you want your posts to go viral, getting your readers to share you is essential. Don’t use Truth to beat others. Build relationships in trust and love.
  7. Evaluate. Make sure you have some type of feedback system to measure your on-going success.

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Is the Apostolic Gift Here Today?

First, let’s look at what the apostolic gift is.

“Our greatest source of anxiety in our lives is our resistance and struggle against this destiny that is already written within our lives. We have great difficulty in accepting this gift, rejecting the very calling of God in our lives.”
Elizabeth O’Connor

The Bible indicates that when God calls us, He gives us gifts for the vision to which we are called. The Bible speaks of two types of gifts given to the members of the Church: Motivational and Functional gifts. The Greek language had two words for unity and oneness – one referred to an organic unity (the purpose of the motivational gifts) and other referred to a functional unity (the purpose of the functional gifts). The primary passage about motivational gifts is in 1 Corinthians 12, part a letter written by the Apostle Paul to a pretty rowdy church. As far as morality and ethnics goes, they seemed to have none. How would you write a letter to a church like that?. This passage has a short list of the motivational gifts, and another passage on these is in Romans 12:3-8. In both passages you see the purpose of these gifts is the unity of the Body. To understand this further, see the Lord’s Prayer (the real one) in John 17:20-23).

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
John 17:20-23 (emphasis added)

Jesus is praying for the unity of the Church. The gifts are given to build up the Church, to witness to those who have yet to find Christ. There is no lone hero doing his or her thing when it comes to this gift business. In fact, whatever this vision that God gives us to accomplish will demand that others—the Church—come along side of us to accomplish the vision. Other gifts are needed that we don’t have. This is God’s way of keeping us humble. We are a leader in terms of the gifts we are given and a follower in terms of the gifts of others for the purpose of the common vision.

The word used for gifts in the passages on motivational gifts is charismata, and refers to gifts given by grace – we did not earn them or choose them.

The key passage on functional gifts is in Ephesians 4, and these re often referred to as the five-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit:

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, …”
Ephesians 4:11-12

This passage refers to members of the Church functioning under certain giftings – something like roles – in the church. We might, for example, have someone called as pastor of a church (a functional role); yet you may have others in the church who also do pastoring from a motivational gifting they have.

This Ephesians passage mentions “apostles” as one of the five-fold functional gifts. What does this mean for the Church today? The word is translated from the Greek word apostolos, which translates literally as “one sent”. In John 1:6, a variation of the word in referring toi Jesus as sent by God.Some say the word referred to those who had seen the risen Christ, with the Apostle Paul included. Paul saw the risen Christ on the Damascus road. If the apostolos word is used to describe those who had seen the risen Lord, that is not a functional definition and the Ephesians passage lists the apostolic gifting as a functional gift.

The word also had a wider meaning when used to refer to any missionaries sent out, such as in Acts 14:4 where Barnabas is sent out as a part of the group. In this passage Barnabas is referenced with the others as an apostle because he was “sent out”.

Neither of these concepts do the meaning of apostolos functional gifting justice. If apostolos refers to one sent out, sent from what to what?

Think a minute. The spiritual culture of the time was almost identical to that today. The synagogues had gotten vary materialistic. Most of their Jewish tradition had now become ritualistic. None of that met the deep spiritual needs of the people. People were coming to Jesus and experienced healing and teaching. This upset the so-called religious leaders. The disciples and Paul became apostles all right. They were sent out (apostolos) to lead the Gospel through a cultural wormhole.(1) The Gospel was no longer in a nice, Jewish box. This was a radical new way to see what the Kingdom was all about. Now the Gospel was for everyone and was moving unhindered. Those early apostles had the challenge of being the transformal agents to lead the Church through this wormhole. There was a major paradigm shift involved. Today, again, a major paradigm shift is involved and God is calling apostles to lead the Church through this.

In the same way today, we see failing church institutions and changing paradigms and the need for that apostolos today that can help us carry the Gospel through the wormhole to people groups even in our own city that have not been touched by the message of Christ.

When Dr. Joe and Terry Dirks were leading in Portland some two decades ago, they spoke of a servant ministry where those of us leading in the city movement (and themselves) served the pastors and the pastors served the churches. Unless the pastors led, we could no more than pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, today we no longer have the free speech promised on the Constitution Bill of Rights. The pastors are bounded politically and other ways as to what they think they can say from the pulpit. The teachers, in the same way, are bounded by what they can say in the classroom. Like old Eli in the Bible, when you don’t speak what God tells you to speak eventually. Each of us needs to stand up and speak the Word as it is given to us. The apostolic gift isn’t lost, it’s just the Church has forfeited it.

So this goes back to the original question. I strongly believe the apostle gift is here today. God wouldn’t fail us on that. Who, then, is the apostle? Who do you think?

Here is a very interesting insight I think is related to this with a question from Os Guinness that Randy Elrod posted (thank you Randy!):


In your own life, who do you see with the functional gift of being an apostle to you? I can name several in my own life. They are always stretching me, creating chaos, visioning me to things that seem impossible. What they often tell me seems totally impractical. This forces me to move on faith.

  1. In physics, a wormhole is theoretical structure in spacetime that forms a tube-like connection or tunnel for traveling between two separate regions of the universe. In the spiritual example, a cultural wormhole is connecting our past traditional cultural structures to a new and radically different world in which the Church must minister in.

(some of this is ©2011 in Carl’s book Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality)

Is God Working in Portland?

Back from LA last weekend and trying to catch up on things. The local Christian newspaper, Christian News Northwest, has an article in the March issue I wrote. It’s about some of what I saw in the early nineties when the local pastors came together, praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit in our area. It was really an awesome time. This Saturday a local television station is interviewing me to discuss more of what I saw and my insights.What have you seen of what the Holy Spirit is doing in Portland today? Where have you seen a miracle today?

Healing of the Hearts – Sample Chapter book 2

FireDancer - A step of faith

(Experiencing God’s Love – creative commons)

Healing of the Hearts