Excerpts 2nd book “Breaking Light: Healing of the Hearts”

FireDancer - A step of faith

Here are some excerpts from the second volume of the”Breaking Light” novel series by Carl. This second book of the series is not shipping yet, but continues in development with work often starting early the morning. Enjoy these excerpts Thanks to everyone who has helped me on this. Writing this story has been more fun than any book I’ve done. These excerpts have not passed the final edit.

 

The Vision of Dr. Joe Aldrich

There is no way that those of us who knew Dr. Joe Aldrich can express what he meant to our lives. To me, he was first and foremost one of the strongest visionaries I have every met. He was also President of Multnomah University, author of many books – I could mention many achievements. But first and foremost, to me he was a man of vision and faith.

“Faith requires a large Investment & ongoing commitment.”
Joe Aldrich

Dr. Joe had an amazing vision. He said he wondered what would it take to initiate and sustain a significant work of God in a specific geographical community. George Otis, Jr., has documented hundreds of places in the world today where this is happening and the Holy Spirit is breaking through in power. George Otis has spend much of his recent years documenting some conditions that lead to those. The key factors, he found,  involved prayer, belief, faith, and persistence.

Joe Aldrich and visioning

Dr. Joe Aldrich

Dr. Joe saw himself as a servant leader, servant to the Word and and servant in the world. He taught us to lead as servant leaders, always reminding us that his job was to serve the pastors and their churches, and he was a servant to them and to the Church, which is led by the Holy Spirit and is the very Body of Christ.

Here are some notes I took from a message he gave many  years ago. I’ve added a few personal notes.

The Necessity of the Church

Someone once told me that there is no such thing as the solitary Christian. The warfare is too heavy, the Enemy too strong. Unless individuals come together as the church and churches come together as Church, the cause is lost. God purposely humbles each of us by not giving us all the gifts we need to accomplish to mission to which Christ has called us. For this reason the Church, as the Body of Christ, is a necessity.

The Necessity for Unity

Dr. Joe said there were two words in the Greek language for unity. One, or heis, translates as an organic unity. One familiar use of this word is in the Lord’s Prayer of John 17.

“Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.”
John 17:11 NKJV (emphasis added)

“…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 unity, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
John 17:21-23 NKJV (emphasis added)

The other Greek word used in the New Testament to refer to unity is homothumadomon, and translates to refers to a functional unity. It translates more accurately as “in one accord”. It refers to people united around a common cause, and is used ten times in the book of Acts (1:14, 2:46, 4:24, 5:12, 7:57. 8:6. 12:20, 15:25, 18:12, and 19:29). It is used again in Romans 15:6. Many of these references refer to the coming together of the early church as the Gifts of the Holy Spirit were poured out. Let’s take a quick overview of how this second Greek word for unity was used in the New Testament. See if you can find the key, or common, words in each example:

Jerusalem (in the upper room or temple) after the resurrection, ascension, and before Pentecost.

“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
Acts 1:14 NKJV (emphasis added)

Jerusalem, after Peter’s sermon.

“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:46-47 NIV (emphasis added)

Jerusalem church in prayer and praise after the healing of the lame man and Peter’s sermon.

So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, …”
Acts 4:24-25 NKJV (emphasis added)

You can follow looking at the other references given for this word in Acts. Not all of them refer to the Church.

The Building of Unity in Portland

Dr. Joe wanted to see what would it take to initiate and sustain a significant work of God in Portland. He began the prayer summit movement, International Renewal Ministry”, in 1986 in an effort to bring the pastors together to pray for this awakening. That same year he brought another leader, Terry Dirks, in to help him. These leaders worked to initiate the organic unity, or heis, in the city. With these prayer summits they would take hundreds of local pastors to the coast and pray for at least four days for the coming of the Holy Spirit in the Portland area.

This prayer movement in Portland led eventually to the Billy Graham Crusade in 1992, one of the best Crusades the Billy Graham leadership ever saw. Some 30,000 people made decisions for Christ in the event. This crusade is documented in a PBS special on the life of Billy Graham (Crusade: The Life of Billy Graham – available on VHS from PBS Home Video as B3346V).(1) Other video was also published on this event. Bob Waymire with Carl Townsend also published a book “Discovering Your City” giving details of the “How to” of the diagnostic research that went into the preparation of the event. The book is available from our office for $14.95 plus postage.

This success of the prayer summits soon spread to 40 states and 30 countries with more summits started internationally. This was started as the heis, or organic component of the Dr. Joe’s vision and under his leadership with the help of Terry Dirks. Although Dr. Joe died in 2009 after a 15 year battle with Parkinson’s, the prayer movement he started continues today. Terry Dirks died in his sleep in 2009 at in Japan as they planned another prayer summit there.

The prayer summits movement continues today, and you can read more at their website at http://prayersummits.net/.

After starting the prayer summits, Dr. Joe started Mission Portland as a network of networks to lead in building the homothumadomon, or functional unity, in the city. Mission Portland continues more as a linkage today, with its website at http:/www.missionportland.org. One of the key projects of Mission Portland was a directory of all the life-giving churches and parachurch agencies in the city involved in the Kingdom Enterprise, i.e., the Harvest Force. I was very much involved in that.

The Challenge Today

fireToday, several decades later, our culture has become increasingly diverse and the secular pressures have increased that are trying to destroy the freedoms our early fathers fought and gave their lives to give us. Yet the issue of unity and grace that Dr Joe and Terry Dirks lived is even more important. Dr. Joe gave us vision, and Terry Dirks showed us how to give Grace (and more).

The functional unity that both led in breathing in our city is again alive and you can experience it at the annual MissionconneXion conference in Portland.

NOTES
1. If you order the tape, be sure to catch the interview with Billy Graham at the end of the tape. The interviewer asks Graham why the Portland Crusade was so successful. I love Graham’s answer. If you can’t get the tape, I’ll be glad to share what Graham said.


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. Where are you dreaming? Using the Internet and a web site, you can build networks that are not geographically limited to reach across churches and geographic boundaries to effect change. Also feel free to donate if you wish to help Carl’s ministry work. That option is on this site’s About page,

Also, if you dream big and want to explore your own web site or social media experience and talk with Carl about it, if you are in the Portland area he’ll give you free help to get started for the cost of his cup of coffee. Go ahead – call or email him today!

Excerpts from “Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero”

Arararagorn, authenti manhood

aragorn, creative cmmons

 

Here are some excerpts from the first volume of the”Breaking Light” novel series by Carl. This first book of the series is shipping from Amazon.com. Enjoy these excerpts Thanks to everyone who has helped me on this. Enjoy in Paperback or Kindle.

 

 

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.

(You may share his post. Please share. We do SEO (search engine optimization), SMO (social media optimization), web site design, and more. Contact us for more information.)

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.

 

 

Quotations from Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero (Book 1)

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero - Creative Commons

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero – Creative Commons

(Roger to Ken)
“In mythology, the Phoenix was a bird resembling an eagle that lived for 500 years and was periodically reborn. When it died, it rose again from its ashes more beautiful and more powerful. The Phoenix was subsequently adopted as a symbol in early Christianity. It can refer to the Church or an individual. The Phoenix is also used to refer to somebody or something beautiful or unique. There are leaders out there that define prophecy as calling forth the beauty of another person that God sees in that person; but that person may not be able to see that beauty in themselves until it is called out. Satan tries to keep us from seeing it. The reality is the person is unique in the eyes of God, created for a specific purpose even before they are born.”

(Melody to Ken)
“Now change the verse [Luke 4:18-22] and our mantra to reflect this Post-Resurrection state and put your name in there. This is the way John Eldredge puts it.”

“God has sent the Holy Spirit on a mission.
I have great news for you, Ken.
God has sent the Holy Spirit to restore and release something.
And that something is you, Ken.
The Holy Spirit is here to give you back your heart and set you free.”

(Tom to Ken)
“The biggest challenge for anyone on this earth is the rescue of the human heart. Starting with your own. No other creation has that passion. No other part of creation is created for and searches for that intimacy with God.”

The battle

Creative commons: Aragorn

(Tom to Ken)
“Ken”, Tom said, “The war is already launched. The question that haunts every man is where that battle is in his own life and the adventure to which that battle calls him.”

(Lorraine to Ken)
“Ken, I’ll tell you this about what you were researching today. I’ve lived here for many years and I don’t believe Frank Benson’s death was an accident. Don’t ask me to prove it or who is involved. I just know it wasn’t an accident.”

(Mrs. Benson to Ken)
“Ken, this area was once the center of the Cherokee Indian people group in America. Two centuries ago in 1838 legislation was signed that forced all the Cherokee Indians to move west of the Mississippi River into reservations. This was under Andrew Jackson’s Presidency, and some 15,000 Cherokees were forced to leave their home. About 4,000 Cherokees died on the march that eventually came to be known as the Trail of Tears.”
…Ken noticed that as she shared, it was as if a great pain and burden fell over her. The brilliant, twinkling eyes began to tear up. Then she quickly pulled herself together. For a brief moment Ken heard another voice. Beautiful. Then that voice was gone.
“I’m sorry,” she said.

Lorraine practically dragged him out of the library, down the steps to the mall, around the corner at the Edison Fountain and into the café. Back to that same table and she said, “Sit”.
“Look,” she said with her eyes flashing. “I believe God did something last night and we just don’t see it yet. God set us up. Something happened, we just don’t see it. There is an agenda in play. God’s agenda. Maybe it wasn’t the one we expected; but our job is to keep our eyes open and to do the best we can, praying for God to reveal His agenda. Remember those Israelites on the edge of their Promised Land? Only they could not see it. They missed the window of opportunity, or kairos moment God gave them and as a result were commanded to wait for the next generation to go in. Let’s pray on that now.”

“Another thing, Ken” Lorraine said, “You must learn to see with your heart. God is after your heart. Pray that God can help you to see with that heart.”

Finally, Don paused and gave a deep sigh. “Today, again, Crusaders must march to recover what was stolen from the Christians by the Muslims and others. This today, in many ways, is the First Crusade for us and the Church today. Those Crusaders made major mistakes at times. We must avoid those.”…
Lorraine asked a question. “What are we supposed to take back?”
Don turned to her. “The political system, the educational system, the health system, the judicial system, the financial system, the family, even the church as an institution2. They have all been stolen from us. Who do you see as a Crusader today?”

“I’ve got my purse. Tom, can I call Ginger and let her know we are all right?”
“No, Lorraine. None of us can call or contact anyone. When the news does get out about the car crashes, there will be people who care about you that will think you are dead. There will be obituaries in the newspapers and on television and the Internet, along with memorial services for you. And there’s not a thing you can do about it. Anyone you even try to contact will become a target. You will have to put aside, for now, any normal emotional response you may have about that. The only advantage we have right now is that the people who are trying to kill us probably think we’re dead and will quit, for the moment, chasing us. There is a consolation. The Church in Sunodia and Seattle is praying for us. They won’t stop.

Lorraine started their conversation.
“This is getting far more than scary.”
“Lorraine,” Tom said, “we can’t go back now. I think God is going to act, real soon, in ways we can’t possibly imagine. I think we’re going to see something big.”
“Like parting the Red Sea?” joked Ken.
Tom jumped in, “Careful, Ken, God may do just that, or at least something that looks like that to us.”

 

“And you are going to change this?”
“Nope. God will do it. He’s going to use the Holy Spirit to enable us to restore this nation.”
“God help you, Tom.”
“I sure hope so. Will you help us?”

(Speech by Mark Pearson, incoming American Presidential nominee)
“We each have our dreams. Yet, for each of us, the temptress calls, like the singing siren, and lulls us from taking any conscious action. We tend to avoid the pain of rejection, doubt, and disappointment and have numbed ourselves from the epic story of a life fully lived to which God calls us. To sleep through your dreams is to choose a life of restless nights and unfulfilled passions. I applaud the work of this small group that now challenges every one of us and yes, even the sleeping church. God’s invitation to each of us is to seize the divine, or kairosmoments, that are found in the needs of other people’s lives and to speak that moment into them, to encourage them to take hold of their own epic story, even as you take hold of your own moment.”1

 (From a speech to the Phoenix group by Mark, incoming US Presidential nominee, quoting a former Czech Premier)
”The danger to America is not President Mike Henderson [former President], but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of a Henderson presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Henderson, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Mike was just a willing puppet with a personal agenda. He knows nothing of how America has been forged or what patriotism is. Nothing. Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Mike Henderson, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who elected him as President.2

Book 1 of the series is out now as Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero.. Order from Amazon.com or see:
http://creatingnewworlds.org/2014/08/06/breaking-light-birth-of-a-hero/

Great gift for a friend! Only $11.

Website: http://www.creatingnewworlds.org

 

 

 

 

The Fall of a Great Nation?

Many people refer to America as a democracy, perhaps the greatest democracy on earth. This is really not correct, as America is not an absolute democracy. America is really a constitutional republic.

An absolute democracy is a political system in which the majority enjoy absolute power through the use of democratic elections. Without the restraint of a constitution, the majority can vote to impose whatever they wish with minority opposition. In other words, the majority can vote to elect those who can deny the minority their God-given rights. Our founding fathers recognized the danger of this and chose the constitutional republic alternative. Thomas Jefferson referred to absolute democracy as elected despotism. The founding fathers did not fight for any absolute democracy government. They fought for a constitutional republic.

America a Democracy?

Constitutional Covention

A constitutional republic, in contrast, is a political system in which the head of state and other officials are elected by the people as representatives of the people. A reference system, or constitution, is written that establishes the absolutes against which decisions are made. Three branches of government are set up: executive, legislative, and judicial. These, in turn, work together to hold all three accountable to the constitution. The constitution, it turn, is written referencing some type of absolute standard. In America this was the Bible. It doesn’t mean all the founding fathers were Christians, it simply means the constitution was written to use the Bible as the reference standard. In Egypt, their constitution at the current time was written using the Sha’aria as a reference.

The founding fathers wisely used the constitutionally divided powers of the government to limit elected officials from imposing their tyranny on the people.

Unfortunately, today the elected officials have successfully manipulated those that elected them to create enough dependency for them to hold on-going power through democratically held elections. We have reached a point where almost every American is slave to the government.

We are currently living through the paramount form of elected despotism that our founders so presciently sought to forestall. At some point during the progressive era of the early 1900?s, elected officials began to deviate from the constitution in a dramatic fashion. At present, we find all of our founding principles under assault. Many prominent political leaders in both parties seek to destroy our free markets, infringe upon our personal liberties, and abrogate our social values. Unfortunately, they have accrued a high level of success. Moreover, they have prosecuted this revolution without firing a shot. Instead, they have used the soft edge of the sword of elected despotism.
Daniel Horowitz

In addition, many political leaders who say they are abiding by the Constitution and misinterpreting the Tenth Amendment to promote tyranny on a state level as well as the Federal level. This is particularly true of the blue states.

Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state. – it is subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.
John Witherspoon

Article 4 section 4 of our Constitution guarantees each state a Republican form of government.

It is incumbent upon each of us to restore our Constitution as the supreme law of the land and that our God-give rights in the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, and not revoked. This involves particularly some courageous stands on the part of the churches , economic systems, and our education institutions particularly. In my church we spend a LOT of time teaching both kids and adults what you read here and what our founding fathers really did.

Toynbee, the famous historian, pointed out that 19 out of 21 civilization have died from within. They died not by conquests from without, but from within. He tells us that there were no bands playing or flags waving when these civilizations decayed. It happened slowly in the quiet and the dark when no one was aware of what was happening. In America this could happen within your generation.

What is God asking you to do about this?

Carl is creates websites to empower businesses,  organizations, and individuals for changing their world. Contact us for more info.

The Goal of the Dance -Julianne Hough and Apolo

Organizations or organizational “leaders” often try an aggressive type of “slash-and-burn” type of leadership to accomplish their goals at any cost, such as aggressive tactics in Congress to raise money to build a little-used airport or road that will bear the congressperson’s name. For long-term and any type of enduring difference, the compassion must be there—both at the personal and larger group level of those being led. A pastor, for example, is constantly trying to balance his or her time between ministering to the sick and broken in the church or mobilizing his people to bold visions and incredible adventures.

One of the most interesting examples of this was a session on Dancing with the Stars when professional dancer Julianne Hough was paired with the celebrity Olympic champion Apolo Anton. Julianne was a prodigy dancer, choreographer, teacher and singer and only 18 at the time. This was her first time as a professional dancer on the show. Apolo was an Olympic champion, having tied with one other person in the last Winter Olympics for the most gold metals. He was already training for the 2010 Olympics.

At their early dances, Apolo was very frustrated at not getting a 10 (the highest score) from each of the three judges. He was there to win and thought he was doing everything right. Both he and Julianne were highly competitive. Neither wanted anything less than the first place.

Eventually, the show gave us a camera view of the watershed rehearsal. Apolo was goofing off, making funny faces. Julianne was frustrated and disappointed in him for not seeing what she was trying to teach him.

“You want to win?” Julianne threw at him.

“Sure. I’m here to win.”

“You are not going to win like that.”

I saw what Julianne was telling him. In the Olympic race, the racer is focused on the goal. Nothing else is ever even seen but that goal. Everything is inward and anything not related to the goal at the end is shut out. The heart’s passion is to reach that goal as quickly as possible. That is all the athlete can dream about, see, taste, or hear. Nothing else matters. No relationships, an invisible audience, no relaxing. The goal is everything. Too often a pastor or Christian leader does the same thing.

Julianne was trying to tell him that to win here everything was exactly the opposite—he had to see that the dance was outward. You are telling a story, and the dance is poetry in motion that communicates and expresses a story that involves the deepest part of the heart—a message that is beyond words.

At the next dance it was obvious that Apolo had learned it. After long hours of practice with her, he had learned something. The crowd went wild with a standing ovation. For the rest of the competition, you saw the two beating with one heart and Apolo taking risk after risk in his dances and he got continued standing ovations. A few weeks later they stood together with his winning trophy. And Apolo was acknowledging that he was not the same person.

Neither was Julianne. She had created a field or place that not only led Apolo; but together they led the judges, audience, and television viewers into a story week after week. There was synergy, chemistry, and passion in their incredible dances.

This is what every leader today must do. He or she is not so much leading to a goal, but rather taking those led into a story that has romance and passion. And to do that, the leader must have a vision expressed as a Place, have a vulnerable heart, and show compassion. There is a profound relationship between the leader and those being led.

For a pastor, for example, this means it is not an academic or even a competitive goal of a larger attendance, bigger church budget, or a beautiful building that you are leading the congregation to embrace. The pastor is rather telling a story in action (and sometimes with words), the most incredible story ever told. The story is rich with romance, adventure, risk, and joy. If it is done right, people will choose to be a part of the journey and follow to join the story. Here is their final dance, choreographed by Jullianne. Can you see what this dance says? Who leads you in the dance? (I have a lady trying to lead me. – Who is your leader?)

(P.S. This is from Carl’s book: Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality. . Order the book (preferably from us!) share the Facebook, or read the Kindle.}

Carl does professional and affordable website development for people serious about changing their world.

Visioning and Journalling the New Year

Here are some dialog questions for your journal as you go into the New Year. I got these from Elizabeth O’Conner years ago and still journal them at the first of every year.

  1. How did the year begin?

  2. What were the events of the winter? spring? summer? fall?

  3. What took place in your home relations?

  4. What took place in your work relations?

  5. What took place in your church relations?

  6. What events in the larger community of your city, country, and world captured your attention?

  7. Who were the significant people in your life?

  8. What books instructed your mind and heart?

  9. What was the most important movie you saw? Why?

  10. Did you create anything this year? What?

  11. Did you make any new discoveries about yourself?

  12. How were you gift last year to a person, community, or institution?

  13. Who or what was gift to you?

  14. What was the greatest joy of the year? Greatest sorrow? Most disappointment? What caused you the most sadness?

  15. In what area of your life did you grow? Were those areas related to your joy or pain?

  16. What are your regrets? How would you do things differently you you could live the year again? What did you learn?

  17. Did you have a recurring dream or vision? What theme or themes ran through the year in this?

  18. Did you grow in your capacity to be a person in community, to bear your own burdens, or let others bear theirs?

  19. Did you have sufficient time apart with yourself?

  20. Did your roots your life firmly in the scriptures?

  21. Did you grow in your understanding of yourself?

  22. What was your most important insight?

  23. Did God seem near or far off?

  24. What do you feel is the message of the year?

  25. What do you think and feel God is saying to you?

  26. What are the tasks that the old year leaves to you?

  27. How can you increase your devotion and dedication?

  28. How do you want to create the New Year? What kind of commitment do you want to make to yourself? Your community? The oppressed people of the world (they are also in your community)?

  29. How do questions about spiritual commitment make you feel? (angry, challenged, hopeful)?

  30. Who are the people with whom you would like to deepen yor relationships with in the year ahead? Are you willing to take that risk?

  31. Do you have relationships that need to be healed?

  32. What can you do to heal your own heart?

  33. What can others to do assist in your healing?

  34. How can you ask God for what you need?

  35. How can you ask His people for what you need?

  36. Is there a special piece of inward work that you would like to accomplish?

  37. Is there a special piece of outward work that you would like to accomplish?

  38. What are the goals that seem important to you?

  39. What are your hopes? Your fears?

  40. What are the immediate steps you can take toward the goals that seem important to you?