Category Archives: -Provision

-100,000 Bottles of Water: A Prophetic Picture of Provision

"Water - Bottle" by ?????? ?????

(Image by Klearchos Kapoutsis via Flickr)

A week and a half ago we received 100,000 bottles of water as a donation from a supplier to our Mercy Warehouse at Vineyard Laguna Niguel.

I have talked about the warehouse before –it is a on-going ministry of our church to the poor and just regular folks of South Orange County. We give away approx. $100,000 worth of food, clothing, furniture, and etc. per month out of our 40,000 sq ft. warehouse. We also have become a food bank supplier for other charities in the area including the Salvation army.

Usually when we receive a large donation like that it is because we are going to need it or someone in the area. If 100’s of loafs of extra bread shows up it means that some other charity in the area has probably been shorted and really needs the bread.

The warehouse has become a prophetic picture of God’s provision. So when 100,000 bottles of water shows up some wondered if disaster was soon to strike in our own area. However according to several of our contacts in the Middle East the water sure could be utilized there.  But we were frustrated in all of our attempt to arrange for shipping.

Then the huge quake hit in Japan and it became very clear where the water needed to go and immediately we were able to find transportation. The water is already there.

In thinking about this experience and others lately, this is a prophetic picture of God’s provision for us.  It is going to be there exactly when we need it. File this for future reference as our own nation, communities, churches, and even our own families go through disasters and crisis in the future.             *Top

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-The Lord is Slaying Giants –Time to Cross Over

Rafting in the Jordan river

(Jordan River via Wikipedia)

This morning at the Marketplace Prayer Group the Holy Spirit showed me a picture of the Lord slaying giants.

The theme of the morning was ‘crossing over Jordan’. there was a sense that many of us there this morning were on the bring of being able to cross over into ‘the promise land’ in our jobs, businesses, and ministries.

The vision originally came in response to one particular brother who had been experiencing health and financial issues and at the same time had received miraculous provision.

However also during that time he had received numerous words that seemed almost ridiculous in the face of what he was currently facing yet the lord this morning was confirming the validity of all of the incredible words for future business and ministry he had received.

While meditating on the vision I believe that the Lord told me that it was also for everyone there and the American church in general.

Many of us have been facing ‘giants’ standing in the way of fulfilling the visions and calling that the Lord has given us over the years. Sometimes those words seem almost ridiculous in the face of all of the challenges that we are personally facing.

Many of us have been looking for and praying for revival in America. Now is the time to cross over and receive it. Now is the time to step forward in faith. It is time to stop looking at all of the ‘giants in the land’ and the reasons it can’t be done. The Lord himself is slaying all of the giants standing in the way. Praise God! 

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-Opportunity on the Brink of Disaster

IN_GOD_WE_TRUST
(Image by Paulo Brito Jr. via Flickr)

Looking at the news can be a scary prospect lately. I see that Greece, Portugal, and Spain were about to go down the tubes over the last weekend and take the Euro and the entire European Community with them. The USA put up another Trillion Dollars that we really don’t have to keep the entire world financial system from collapsing like dominos starting with Greece. Something the American media really didn’t cover.

Meanwhile, the news media in America keeps on trying to convince us all that the economy is improving and makes it sound like the current 9.9% unemployment rate is actually ‘good news’ with folks going back to work—dutifully following the Monday morning talking points memo supplied by the Obama Administration. The dirty little secret is that unemployment is actually closer to 18% as the government takes those who haven’t gotten a job after 6 months off the list.

The word I keep on hearing from the Lord personally and from others prophetically is that now is a time of new and greater opportunity for God’s people.

I ask the Lord—How can you call this a time of ‘opportunity’ when my business is so bad I wonder if I’ll be able to pay all my bills at the end of every month. Then the Spirit reminded me that over the last year I have received just enough income to cover it all. Sometimes it really has taken a miracle to get it done.

Right now we have one of our adult children along with two grandchildren living with us so our expenses are far greater than they were a couple of years ago and our income is far less. Originally we had planned to retire this year but now that is entirely out of the question.

Yet when I attended our weekly Marketplace Prayer meeting this morning at VCC, the word that kept on coming up in everyone’s testimony or prophetic word was ‘opportunity’. When I thought about it later the Lord reminded me of Joseph and how he had prophetically turned disaster into opportunity. How his family was saved from famine and the entire nation of Egypt. Not only that, they ended up prospering in the midst of disaster.

That is what the Lord intends for his faithful people in America—to prosper in the midst of disaster. However, sometimes the Lord’s idea of prospering can be somewhat different than how we may picture it. Nevertheless it is all good.

Then the Lord reminded me of what was happening at my home church. Over 80 folks have come to Christ in the last month at Vineyard Community Church and just this week our Pastor took a team to India and around 20,000 were saved in a 3 day conference and thousands were healed.

Now for me that is a real sign confirming that He really does intend to expand our opportunities and to prosper us both in the Spiritual realm and in the Natural–even in the midst and on the brink of disaster.            *Top

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Kingdom Economy: Not business as Usual

Prayer is the language

(Image by Lel4nd (busy) via Flickr)

Historically in America we are in a transition time politically and economically when ‘business as usual’ no longer works. Anyone who tells you they know where this is going to end up is just wrong or prophetic.

I know I’m not the only one that has been going though some difficult times economically in my business and in our family. Church and ministry leaders are finding it far more difficult to fund their ministries in 2009 than in previous years. So many in the Christian community are suffering along with everyone else in this economy.

The church that I’m part of has had to find ways to cut expenditures without downsizing valuable ministries. The economy in wealthy Orange Co. Southern California has taken a heavy hit and nearly every family is being affected in one way or another which affects giving.

In the midst of this downturn one program in the church has grown exponentially—our food and thrift warehouse. The Lord has sent capable people our way to administer our food bank. It really is a miracle when you consider that a couple of years ago it was just an empty warehouse but our pastor had a vision that one day we would be supplying food to 1000’s in need. Didn’t really seem possible or even needed 2 or 3 years ago but now we are sending entire containers full of cloths to Africa and Southeast Asia and we are feeding 1000’s of needy folks even many in our own congregation that are going through some tough times.

We are now handing out roughly $100,000 worth of food every month—there are some real miracles happening when it comes to the exponential increase in our suppliers. Not only that—it has become a real ministry outreach and an opportunity to provides for folks on many different levels including healing.

One of the major backbones of the church is our prayer ministry program—HOPE ‘House of Prayer for Everyone’—on Wednesday morning we have a Marketplace prayer group that meets and prays over the businesses of church members, over the sales of the sales folk in the congregation, and we pray for jobs for those out of work. It is a practical time where many have received prophetic insight and direction from the Lord on how to carry on in these hard economic times. Lately we have seen lots of ‘break throughs’ in business where we seem to be going one way while the economy is going another. Not only that but new innovative businesses are being launched with incredible potential.

For years, all of us Christians have carried on our everyday business like everyone else in the country and that has been good enough in this wealthy land—now like everyone else the Christian community has been going through some tough times. It is no longer ‘business as usual’ and I submit to you that it never will be again. I repeat—It never will be quite so easy for us in the future as it has been in the last 60 some years.

It is time for Christians to be involved in God’s Kingdom Economy. One way to do that is sponsor ‘Marketplace Prayer’ groups in every church and allow the Lord to reach out in a new ways and bless us with his inspiration corporately and support one another in our everyday businesses and occupations. Let Him expand our horizons and business visions in Jesus name, Amen.

Here’s a good article I just read on this: Take Possession of Your Land!              *Top

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Kingdom Economy: Do No Participate in The Spirit of Fear and Worry

Temptation of Christ, Ary Scheffer, 19th c.

(Picture via Wikipedia)

It is time for the American Church to stand up and be all that we are called to be. In the wisdom of the world it is a time to shrink back, retool, and curtail or cut everything back that isn’t necessary. But the Church is called to follow a different path than the world.

My Children—Do Not Participate in the Spirit of Fear and Worry!

The enemy has sowed fear in the world economy but the church and Christian families must reject that spirit of fear or worry and participate in a Kingdom Economy—Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. (See: Matt. 6:24-34)

We can no longer serve two masters—if we continue to identify with the world we will continue to live in fear and we will have every reason in the world to worry. God says that his children are not to worry!

That is exactly what Jesus said and I don’t believe that he was just preaching a nice 3-point Sunday sermon. No, He is the creator of the universe and if anybody knows how it really works it should be him and he says not to worry!

I can hear you saying—”Now Michael you just don’t know what my family is going through right now—we can’t pay our bills and we don’t know where to turn. All our credit cards are maxed out and they have doubled the interest and the minimum payments plus we are 3 month behind on the mortgage—yet you say not to worry1”

I don’t say anything—that’s what God’s own Son says to his people then and now.

I am in the same boat many of you are in wondering where the money is coming from to pay my bills and keep food on the table—but I have learned to stop living in fear and to trust God in the midst of it (well at least most of the time). My business is off 35% and that would usually mean my income would be too but the numbers don’t make any sense right now and at the end of each month I have just enough to pay for everything.

Three out of four of my adult children (ages 29-38) are out of work and the 4th one just took a job that pays 1/2 of what he use to make. One son had to move back home with his 2 kids so our expenses here actually increased significantly. Originally, I had planned on retiring in October and was well prepared but I lost most of my retirement funds with everyone else.

Yet in the midst of it all God was patient and gracious enough to put up with my fear, grumbling, and worry for the last 4 months—finally I’m starting to get it and my priorities are changing. Good–by worry, Good-by fear, and hello Praise the Lord no matter what! But I’ll probably need to re-read this post the next time I pay the bills.

I’ll leave you with one more Bible lesson to be shared and lived—You see my friends we are called to live by faith (I Kings 17:7-24):

There was a widow and her son living in Zarephath of Sidon. She only had a small amount of flour and oil to make one small final meal for her and her son—then they would surely die. Along came this foreigner named Elijah who asked the woman to share her last meal with him and she did. You all know the story—that little dab of oil and flour never gave out and better yet she later received healing for her son who was raised from the dead.

Nice story but what does that mean for us today? The same God who provided for the woman and her son is still God today and his Economy still provides. The God who fed 5,000 is our Lord and Savior– We are called to continue to give even in our own time of need.

We are called not to worry, Called to live by faith, and Called to continue giving. That’s God’s Kingdom Economy. And guess what—he will also bless us with healing and raise the dead just like he did for that poor widow who gave out of her poverty and need.

May God bless us all, may he rise up and bear us with healing on his wings, and may his praises be upon our lips and in our hearts everyday. Amen.

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