Soldier and the Singer

 

panera

A week ago I woke up in bed with the story from the book on which I am working running in my head. The story is fiction, but the characters are inspired by people who are real. Lots of fun traveling with them. As soon as I was dressed, I took off with my book manuscript to a Panera coffee house.

They were just opening. There was a roaring fire in the fireplace. It is heavily carpeted, damping the noise and granting me a quiet atmosphere. I placed my order for coffee (just brewed) and a cinnamon roll (just made), and moved to a booth near the fireplace. I opened my manuscript and disappeared into the story again.

It’s a flashback to 2014 and a soldier fighting in the Middle East is brought back to Walter Reed hospital. He is paralyzed from the top of his head to his toes. He’s on life support and cannot breathe on his own or speak. The doctors cannot diagnosis it. I was that man in June, 1989. I was paralyzed from the shoulders down with a virus in Switzerland. I lay much like a sack of potatoes on the bed. I was told by the doctors I would never walk again. (Today I walk again.)  I know everything that goes on the in this soldier’s mind (including the dreams) and try to project it to the story.

In the story, this soldier is the son of a famous multi-billionaire businessman. This man loves his son dearly. The father is desperate, weeping, and hurting. He sends someone to find a certain Christian celebrity singer. He wants her to come and minister to his son for two weeks. He will pay her anything to come.

This celebrity singer of m book is inspired, to a large extent, by real lady. This lady is a deeply committed Christian. Piers Morgan says she has a heavenly voice. I call it an angelic voice. The media calls it a golden voice. There is no diva, only a very humble lady that is just as likely to be found in a children’s hospital, with the soldiers in the Middle East, at a soldier’s rehab center, or in a retirement home as on the concert stage. She’s very wealthy (over 20 million), but cares little for that and gives to many charities. The lady is never identified in my book. She has about 300,000 followers on Facebook and her web site.

About three hours later the waitress taps me on my shoulder. I jumped as I came back to the real world, then gave her a smile. She wondered if she could take my empty plate. I’m doing better now. The previous week it was lunch time when I came back to the real world from Panera. I also have to be careful I don’t cry or laugh as I travel at coffee shops. It would look funny.

The working book theme:

“… that you may know… the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe…according to the working of His mighty power.”
Ephesians 1:18 NKJV

My major mentor is a leading researcher and Bible scholar in Germany, Christian A. Swartz, also on Facebook. His primary mentor is Thomas Bonhoeffer, related to the famous Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Swartz tells me one thing to remember: The Bible is explosive, and if approached with an open mind is full of surprises.

Book excerpts: http://bit.ly/2bJzd7K

Photo author  Jade Miosotis

 

Secret of Leadership

A great leader really exerts very little control. He or she puts down bold and clear vision, then people buy into this vision. As I write my current book, I am following almost daily two real people with extreme visions – both are projected as characters in the story. Both are real.No kidding.

Where Should You Walk?


Where Should You Walk?

Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit light a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.”Wilfred Peterson (1900-1995);

What does this mean? What does it mean to walk with a dreamer or creative person?

Years ago I was at a conference in Kansas City in which Ken Medema was the worship leader. One evening my wife (Sandy, who was still alive at that time) and I were eating dinner with Ken and his wife, Jane. Just the four of us. Ken is a physically blind musician (from birth), but sees more than I ever will. You can purchase his DVD’s, but that is not really completely fair. In a “performance”, he is really taking you into a relational experience and often highly interactive. Very healing. As we ate, Jane shared with us.

“Carl,” Ken’s been banging his head against the wall this afternoon. I’m worried about that.”

“Were you doing that, Ken”? I asked.

“Yes,” Ken said. “I was trying to create the music for tonight. It wasn’t coming.”

I am listening to Ken. Why does the birthing process for the healing have to come from pain?

That evening I sat in the audience as Ken moved to the piano and began his playing, taking us into a story set to music that we quickly saw was Pilgrim’s Progress. The music flowed as we were taken into the story, traveling with this pilgrim and no longer even in the conference hall.

Much later, as Ken finished, we rose with a standing ovation and thunderous applause. And then it hit me as I turned to my Sandy.
“He can’t see this. He is blind. Yet he sees more than I do.”

Alone, I moved to the end of the row and walked down through the crowd to where Ken still sat quietly at the piano as the applause continued. I put my arms around Ken. Suddenly, I seemed hit with thousands of volts of electricity. He hadn’t come “down” yet from his created experience. I staggered back, trying to keep from falling. No problem. Ken would not let me fall.

Years later I tried this again with Ken in a church in Illinois. He had just done his “Flying, like a Jet Plane” song and I grabbed him again on stage with a big hug. Then, Ken lifted me up and swung me in a circle around him around and around, holding me tightly against the centrifugal forces pulling me out. At the same time, he broke into his song about the jet plane again.

Suppose you were at a conference with this very creative dreamer who is led by a strange Spirit that has no labels. Would you have the courage to step up and experience it with him? What I have seen is that often in conferences with him the children have no problem stepping up. They trust. Most of the time they have little wounding from past experiences. With adults, however, I see everything from a woman who has been hurt so many times she can’t start any real intimacy who begins sharing on a mike with Ken (who writes her a special song) to an Episcopalian pastor dancing in the aisle.

Where are you in this story?


Carl is a researcher, writer, speaker based in Portland, Oregon. He also designs really high quality and affordable web sites for people that dream big. Ask him to build you one.

Speak Your Mind

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Breaking Light: Healing of the Heart – SAMPLE CHAPTERS

meetgloria

Chapter 10

Dealing with Stress

creative commons + stress

In 1992 I was under an incredible amount of stress after three years of major spiritual warfare. In 1989 I was hit with GBS during a mission trip to England. I was paralyzed me from the shoulders down. On returning home, the doctors told me there was major damage to the neural system from this GBS. The two longest nerves in my body from the hip to each foot were gone, among others, and could only grow about an inch a year. I would need two wheelchairs for the rest of my life. I didn’t see their prognosis as theologically correct. A little over a year later was walking again with no wheelchairs or crutches.

As I began to walk again, my wife was diagnosed with leukemia (AML) in April of 1991. I walked with her through multiple chemos and a bone marrow transplant. The transplant was successful; but back home in Portland the local doctors made three mistakes and I lost her.

As I looked very high personal stress level then, I discovered T.H. Homes and Richard Rahe at the University of Washington had done some major research on stress as it related to disease. You can take a simple test and identify the stress issues in your life, look at your score, and from that you can determine the probability you will me hit with a major illness within a year. The research has been updated since their original 1967 research, but you can take the test yourself and see your score at:

Stress Test and Scoring

There are several web sites that expand the research if you wish more information. You will see, however, that the death of a spouse, divorce, or death of a child all score the highest and almost assure you are set up for serious issues yourself. This was August of 1992. My score at the time over 300. I was set up for serious problems!

During the next year I kept very close watch on potential stress issues as well as staying close with high-level mentors. By May of the next year (1993), my friend and mentor Bob Waymire was asking me to travel with him to visit a Christian research center in London and do a teaching there. This was where previously I got hit with the GBS in 1999. I did a “Gideon” here and asked the Lord for signs. God gave me 11. I consulted multiple mentors. They all said “Go”. Fear, they said, was not a reason to turn Bob down. My pastor even made a decision to go with me after a prophet told me not to go alone.

A month before leaving I came down with shingles. I called Bob to let him know the trip was off. I was down with shingles. Bob said nonsense. He was on a lunch break with a board meeting that included some other Christian leaders. They would pray at 1 p.m, and that would fix that. By 5 p.m. that day the shingles was gone and I let Bob know the trip was back on. On Monday I checked again with my doctor. He verified the shingles was now gone but I needed to kick the immune system up for the trip and gave me a very high-powered antibiotic.

The trip was great, and my pastor was with me. Peter Batchelder is gifted with a very strong intercessory prayer gift. (Thank you Peter.) At one point while there, Peter told me a man from Germany had driven all night to join us and wanted some time with me. We decided to spend some time with him at a nearby coffeehouse. He asked me one question: “If I could tell him the single most important thing in spiritually mapping an area what would it be?”

I looked him straight in the eyes. “Prayer.” I said. “Spiritually mapping an area is highly strategic. The enemy will do everything possible to discourage to shut you down. Make sure you are covered with prayer constantly. If you don’t believe it, look at the book of Nehemiah. Read it, mark each time he prayed, and see what he was asking each time.”

Resources:

Here are a few resources we suggest for this. To save postage, order more than one. Catch Carl at church or about and he should have the latest book with him and maybe more.

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.

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero (PB)- $9.90 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.

 

 

 

The Healing of America – Carl Townsend

Healing of America - Carl Townsend

When growing up, I remember my mother reading Bible stories to me as I sat in her lap by the fire. I loved them. One hero after another. One story, in particular, continues to amaze me today – the story of Nehemiah. Nehemiah’s friends had spiritually mapped Jerusalem and the story starts with those friends (one of them his brother) reporting to him what they found [1] the report showed a spiritual lethargy, a cold-hearted indifference to God. They found in Jerusalem there was no vision, no passion. There was no leader. These friends found apathy and discouragement. For those in Israel, there was no security, no walls. It was an economic disaster. Wow! Sounds just like America today. (See ongoing reports from PEW and Barna Research) I pray daily for a healing of America.

As Nehemiah and his friends examined the Jerusalem report, both Nehemiah and his friends saw the same data. But look at the difference with Nehemiah! His friends they saw objective data from which to make decisions. To Nehemiah, it became a burden, a burden of the heart.

The amazing thing is that Nehemiah went in, and with the Lord’s (Yahweh’s[2]) help, turned the nation around in only 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15-16). How did he pull that off? I have a friend – mentor, really – that said the book of Nehemiah should be named Management 101. There is a lot of truth in that. Here is the Nehemiah strategy.

  1. First, identify the burden. I remember praying with a lady that was trying to decide whether to go to Haiti to do some mission work. She had some people telling her to go to Haiti, others telling her not to go. I asked her one question: Where is your burden? I ask you now as the reader now: Where is your personal burden?
  2. Pray. Nehemiah spent four months in prayer and fasting before taking any step. Read Chapter 1. There’s no mention there of a wall he will soon be helping them build. What was he praying for? What was his burden that he is bringing before the LORD (Yahweh)? There is confession and repentance there – both corporate and personal. Then Nehemiah reminds God of the covenant God made with Moses and claims authority on that covenant. Wow! God will never give up on His part of a covenant. What covenant has God made with you? It will be in term of the burden He has given you.
  3. Third, Act. In Chapter 2, we see his vision of building the wall around Jerusalem begin to take shape. As each family rebuilds the wall near their house, they will want to make the part of the wall there as strong as possible. Families will be networking with each other and working together to share information, resources, and tools. Community will emerge. Nehemiah doesn’t tell the king this. He tells the king that this outlying part of his kingdom (including Jerusalem) is not protected and needs a wall. Notice he brings his vision to the king in terms of the king’s vision – not his own. The king is going to actually help him. How?

Read though the book and see the story. Circle each time Nehemiah prayed in the entire story. In each case identify what he was praying for.

Identify the outward battle he faced and how he dealt with it. Then identify the inward battle he faced with the Israelites and how he dealt with that. What battles (outward and inward) do you personally face in the healing of America?
What aspects of servant leadership do you see here? What does servant leadership mean to you?

  1. Fourth, Celebrate. Nehemiah’s primary objective was NOT the building of the wall but the restoration of the Law. The celebration lasted many days with many complex and legal ceremonies, including the confession of sins and the dedication of the wall. Most of this was led by Ezra, the high priest.

What parallels do you see with America and where we are today?

What does all this mean for the ekklesia (Church, The called out) today? At the beginning of World War II, there were two churches in Germany: the cultural church and the confessional church. The cultural church compromised with Hitler and the Nazi forces. The confessional church, which was much smaller, did not compromise. What happened? Is there a growing parallel today? There have been several spiritual wakenings in the history of America. Who led each of these and what is their history?

Order the books from Amazon

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero (PB)- $9.90 by Carl Townsend More information
Fictional story of a small church committed to turning America back to God. This is book 1 in a novel series.

Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality – $18.86 by Carl Townsend (PB)
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. Non-fiction.

Notes:

  1. Jerusalem was 1000 miles away. It would have taken four months for the researchers to reach Nehemiah. The book of Malachi describes the state of Israel.
  2. The word used in most Bibles is LORD (see 1:5), which translates from Yahweh, implying a personal, covenant-keeping God.

Birthing a Kingdom

authentic mannhod - the  battle

Creative Commons: Teddy Roosevelt

“It is not the critic of the President who counts, not the man who points out how the state governor has stumbled, or where a Congressperson could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly…who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never know neither victory nor defeat.”
“Gandalf”, in Breaking Light: Reconciliation (Book 2) (in process, Book1 available now)

(Paraphrase of a quote by Teddy Roosevelt)
“The Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force..”
Jesus, Matt.11:12, NKJV

Order the first book and don’t forget to vote!

Please share!

Os Hillman – Having Cultural Inflence

omf;uencing American culture

Os Hillman – creative commons

An interview with Os Hillman on having cultural influence.

http://mlcommunity.com/video/an-interview-with-os-hillman-on-having-cultural-influence

Renewing the American Idea

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan – Creative Commons

This is an address given by Paul Ryan at Hillsdale College July 15, 2014. Very, very good and lots of good tutorial material on what is happening in America.

http://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/archives

When the page opens, select the July/August 2014 issue.

 

The Local Class: The Quest for Authentic Manhood

The Quest for Authentic Manhood

This is, I believe, the most critical problem in the Church today – the lack of authentic manhood. We’ve started a 24 week course at our church using the materials of Robert Lewis, which has strong parallels to the John Eldredge materials. The course meets once each week on Tuesdays, either at 6 AM OR 7 pm, each an hour and a half. Workbook is$10. Address is Southwest Hills Baptist Church, 9100 SW 135th Ave., Beaverton, OR. We meet at the SE corner in the “Residence building”. You’ll see some cars there. Good idea just to email or FB me and I’ll pass it on to the teacher, then come. I do the 6 AM one – less traffic.  Men only. September 23.

War is upon you

Copyright Aragorn speaking to Theoden