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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Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality

“For the revelation [vision] awaits an appointed time ,it speaks [as to kindle a fire] of the end [the Karios moment]. Though it linger, wait for it.it will certainly come and will not delay.” Hab. 2:3

get beyond illusion
Look at the Nehemiah story.  Those guys doing the spiritual mapping of Jerusalem were reporting to Nehemiah that there was no vision, no passion, no security, no leadership and that those chosen people there were in disgrace. Is that a picture of America today? So here this one man goes in and turns that completely around in 52 days. Really? Remember this “one man” first spent four months in prayer and fasting. For what was Nehemiah praying? There is no wall mentioned in that first chapter of Nehemiah. He wasn’t praying for a wall. For what was he praying?

Carl’s book. Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality, speaks into this change. Take a look at the Table of Contents, then order your copy from Amazon.com.

 

 

Bringing America Back to God – Nehemiah Insights

 

We can learn a LOT about how to lead in turning America around by looking a Nehemiah. What happened here is really phenomenal Here was a nation without purpose, vision, or direction and scattered. Nehemiah led in turning the nation back to God in 52 days. As Mac says in the movie Entrapment – “Impossible, but doable”.

nehemiahNehemiah was an underemployed guy working for a heathen king, Artaxerxes I, in Shushan (or modern Shush) in what is now southwest Iran. The year was 444 BC. These friends of Nehemiah were reporting to him about the early waves of Jews returning to the area of Jerusalem. These friends had been spiritually mapping the Jerusalem area and came to give Nehemiah a report. It wasn’t good. The people there in Jerusalem had no vision, no passion, no security. Nothing. The city walls were in shambles, the gates were burned with fire, rubbish and ruins all about, and the Jews who had returned were in disgrace.

At this point both Nehemiah and his friends held the same information. Nehemiah’s response to the information, however, is quite different from that of his friends. His heart is with his people. All on them saw the same thing. Nehemiah, however, saw it through God’s eyes. He is broken with compassion, he weeps. He can’t eat, can’t sleep for four months. There was a burden, a concern. He is consumed by his burden.

Notice that this first prayer of Nehemiah (in Nehemiah 1) is driven from Nehemiah’s concern and heart. A burden.

“And I said: ‘I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments…'”
Nehemiah 1:5 (all references here are NKJV)

Nehemiah uses the personal name of God (Yahweh) in his prayer. To understand this, look at the very accounts of creation in Genesis 1-2. Genesis 1:1 — 2:3 describes a creation referring to God as Elohiym, or a depersonalized being or deity who rules.

Starting in Genesis 2:4 the story of the creation begins again. This time, however, you see a shocker. It’s apparently a different author for this version. The word LORD (Yahweh) used for God for the first time, referring to a very personal and intimate God. A God who makes covenants with His people and keeps them. Nehemiah begins by referring to God as Yahweh, this personal and covenant-keeping God. Shortly Nehemiah will play one of these covenants back to God and claim authority on it being completed.

“…please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.”
Nehemiah 1:6-7

Now we see that Nehemiah confesses to God the sins of both the nation and himself and his own house. This “confess” means “to be sorry for” and, more than that, to turn away from.

Then we see something extremely interesting,

“Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’”
Nehemiah 1:8-9 (emphasis added)

Notice that the prayer at this time is not for the construction of the wall, but rather for the nation to return to Place. Nehemiah takes authority for this vision from the covenant God had made with Moses. That covenant, in turn, was based on the Plan of the Israelite nation being the channel through which Christ would eventually come. This return involved both a physical and spiritual return to Place. Nehemiah stands on the authority of that covenant.

As Nehemiah concludes his prayer, he asks for two things:

“O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”
Nehemiah 1:11

  • He asks for the opportunity to present his vision to the king.
  • He asks for the success of the vision.

Nehemiah does not ask for God to step up and do the vision He holds. Rather, he asks for the opportunity for himself to do his part of the vision and for success. The wall Nehemiah will lead in building is not even mentioned at this point.

This is the starting point for a remarkable vision and how God leads Nehemiah to complete that vision. I call it Management 101. One of the most remarkable leadership stories in the Bible. How does that apply to your life and where you are now? How do you pray?

Note: This post is copyrighted and from the book Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality by Carl Townsend.

 


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