Category Archives: Kingdom Economy

-A Hopeful Scripture to Consider

Here some hopeful verses from Isaiah to consider for this year:

Isa 54:2-3, 10
2 "Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
10 Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,"
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
NIV

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-You Will be Mighty in the Land

Let your light shine bright so that others can...

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For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. -Jer 29:11-14  (NIV)

His children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.  …
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.
-Ps 112:2-4  (NIV)

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.  -Zech 4:6  (NIV)

For Young Christians (Also for parents, grandparents, pastors and youth leaders):

There is popular message being disseminated to the youth in America today that you will not have a future as great as your parents but must be prepared to settle for less. This thought comes from the pit of hell and should be cast off since it is the intention of the enemy.

But your Father in Heaven has plans for you to proper you and give you hope and a supernatural destiny in the future.  It is the intention of the Lord that you become even closer to Him than your parents and miracles and the ‘supernatural’ become a natural part of your daily life. In the past, work and occupations were considered as separate from ones spiritual life and ministry but no more. They are to be lived as one and the same.

You will not be limited by the might of the US economy nor by the power of the US military but through the Spirit you will receive vision, direction, blessing and an open door for the future. You are destined to be mighty in the land and your light will shine forth in the darkness.               *Top

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-Gracelines: Examples of The Kingdom Breaking Through

Anointed with Oil and Prayed for in Jesus' Nam...

                     (Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman)

Last year was an extraordinary year at VCC Laguna Niguel and 2013 seems to be even more so. ‘More’ is the key word. The church is experiencing the Kingdom breaking through in a number of different ways especially in healings and miracles.

One thing that we have decided to do in the last several years is to continue to pray for healing until proven otherwise –death proving the otherwise. Some of our congregation have finally received remarkable healings after years of prayer with no results. This has encouraged us to keep on keeping on.

Along the way we are also learning to rejoice and celebrate even minor victories when God brings any kind of relief or partial healing. Some Christians seem to find partial healings to be somewhat controversial nevertheless we are dedicated to always celebrate what ever God gives us. Yet we also continue to pray for even greater blessings.

The most important change for us came when we began to notice that healings or miracles in one area seemed to open to door and dial up the faith for others to receive similar blessings. We started calling these ‘Gracelines’ since a whole line of similar healings, miracles, and testimonies have followed.

For 5 years or more our church had become a ‘migraine free’ zone where a large number of people in our congregation who used to suffer from severe reoccurring migraine headaches had received substantial healing. Doesn’t sound like much unless you are plagued and occasionally disabled by that malady.

Then this last year one of our key leaders in our healing rooms received a remarkable healing of his eyesight in one eye which had severely degenerated. Then later he and others had prayed for a lady who was legally blind and her sight impossibly began to increase over a week or so until she could actually read again. More remarkable healings in eyesight have followed and continues to this day. In my own case, I had one eye with distorted vision. When I looked upon a straight line or board with my one eye it would look crooked to me with a jagged line in the center but after prayer one day in church that went away. Still need glasses but at my age I am truly thankful for the blessing of better eyesight.

Then another brother who had continual pain in his shoulder for 5 years was healed and it has opened to door to many others with shoulder trouble and severe pain to be healed. The testimonies are still coming in on that one. Then there was another with knee problems with similar results and breakthroughs.

Another Graceline opened when a pastor’s wife testified that she had lost a necklace that was really dear to her and prayed for its return for several days. Then one morning it just appeared around her neck. I know that is a strange one for many and I have no theological explanation for it but it has opened a door for others to pray for lost things with amazing results. Many have received dreams or visions of the location of what they had lost after prayer.

On one occasion I could not find my keys after looking everywhere I could think of for 30 minutes or so. Finally time was up and I really needed to get going to work. Usually at that point in the equation I would have been fuming and yelling at my dear wife and blaming her for moving them but then I remembered a couple of the Graceline testimonies and turned to prayer instead and immediately had a picture of myself working in the garage the evening before and found my keys right where I left them on the work table. All this may sound trivial to some but believe me my wife is even more thankful for this blessing than I am.

Then there was a couple early last year who are worship leaders/musicians who testified that they had prayed for money to pay their rent and while driving down I5 Freeway money rained down on their windshield and when they pulled over and picked it up they found that it was just enough to pay the rent with $10 left over which they gave to a homeless person the next day. Then after that another lady testified that when she went to buy a car, the vehicle she really needed was several thousand more than she knew she really had but the Lord told her to buy it anyway and when she handed over the cash she had in an envelope it somehow had multiplied and was exactly enough to complete the sale. This not only opened a door but a deluge has followed with new testimonies nearly every week.

We have started to call these- ‘mail box miracles’ since so many of the testimonies that followed have revolved around folks receiving needed prayed for unexpected money in the mail. In these dire economic times, many in our church are living from week to week trusting in God like never before to bring what is needed to support their families. One week I was a couple hundred dollars short of the expense money I needed for an out of town business trip. I had prayed for help in that area but still was completely surprised when I received a $200 check in the mail from a Christian contractor I had used for referring him to a neighbor across the street for a job. Amazing.

We have a lot of business owners in our congregation and these have been particularly tough times for small businesses but God has been faithful through it all. I will save that for another post. But another door which has been particularly significant is the ‘job’ Graceline. So many of our folks have lost jobs in this economy and have been out of work that we started actually taking time on Sunday morning to pray for those who needed new jobs or business with remarkable results. While the jobless rate in our county is still above 10% nearly everyone in our congregation is now working and paying their bills.

Bottom line- this is not revival but it is better than we have ever seen before and I have already posted about the even more remarkable things happening in our outreach ministries. But there is nothing happening here that isn’t happening or can’t happen elsewhere. It is just now happening more often. It is a matter of our faith and expectations being dialed up and increased exponentially in certain areas in response to the testimonies and experiences of other brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our understanding of ‘Gracelines’ is that when you take the time to acknowledge and rejoice in what God is doing he seems to open up the door to The Kingdom breaking through even more in the same areas. We have also found that including testimonies in our regular Sunday services has encouraged our people to live by faith and include God in their everyday living. Blessings have followed, miracles and healings have increased, Gracelines have continued, and our faith, expectations, and thankfulness have gone to another level.              *Top

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-Taking Jesus into the Marketplace

English: A Toyota Prius hybrid taxi in New Yor...

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Europe is full of huge empty cathedrals and most people there think of Christianity as something from the past.

In strategizing over how to take Jesus back into that continent, Global Advance is trying to advance the faith through Marketplace ministry hoping to make the church relevant to young Europeans.

Here’s an article about their efforts in Germany:

“Global Advance Trains Germans for Marketplace Ministry”

According to Jonathan Shibley, president of Global Advance:

"We really felt like it was a sovereign time for the Lord to pull together people during an economic crisis, because that’s where our faith comes out and shines."

"Three years ago, we were challenged at Global Advance to begin to look at Europe much like we would other developing countries: as an underserved region of the world, and almost an unreached region of the world to some extent."

"People are hungry spiritually, but they don’t know what they’re hungry for. So the gospel’s got to be demonstrated in a fresh way. So many people associate religion with empty cathedrals. They haven’t made the connect with their faith and the relevance to their personal lives. Somehow the church has got to become relevant again."

In talking about the recent conference Shibley concluded

"It was just a wonderful time to bring a wide variety of people from different denominations, different backgrounds, and also different industries together under one common cause—and that’s to see Christ lifted up through the workplace in Europe."

Response: I believe that marketplace ministry is also part of God’s heart for transforming America and particularly the American church. For too long American Christians have lived separate lives dividing the sacred from the secular and profane. 

Most of us Christians spend a majority of our lives in the marketplace, in schools, jobs, or in businesses. Yet we mostly keep the most important things of our lives separate from that experience, our families and our faith.  For too long, American Christians have separated their working lives from their faith, viewing work as a necessary evil to pay the bills. Not really the ‘spiritual’ part of our lives but the secular.

You can see where this has gotten us when well known church-going evangelical business leaders end up in jail over corrupt business practices. One famous energy company in Texas comes to mind as an example. The CEO was a deacon in his church and now he’s in prison.

It wasn’t always that way in America nor was it that way in Europe. The protestant work ethic transformed the West. All thing were done as unto Christ. But it was in America that religion and business would go hand in hand to build up a new nation that would lead the world for an entire century. However, somewhere in the last 50 years or so, Christianity became something that primarily happened just in a church for one hour on Sunday or two if your Pentecostal or Charismatic.

Again, it wasn’t always that way. One of the greatest revivals in America happened in businesses in New York City in the 19th century just before the civil war. Over 50,000 businessmen were converted to Christ and they transformed the entire American economy for the next 50 years until America became a leading world economic power.

It is time once more for American Christians to put it all together and live our entire lives under the banner of Christ including the marketplaces where we spend most of our time and efforts. I believe that the marketplace is the key to the next major revival that will transform the American church and change it into a relevant and dynamic witness to a secular American culture which has abandoned God and the very foundation it was originally built upon.            *Top

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-It began with a Prayer and a Miracle

imageHere’s the story of how a major radio ministry and business began with one prayer and a miracle:

Vic Eliason still remembers the exact spot on the floor where he stood with three students in 1961, praying for a miracle…

"We prayed on that spot on a Friday, believing that if God wanted us to have air time, He would have to provide it," Eliason recalled. "On Monday, the door slammed open and a man I had never seen before asked, ‘Could anybody here use some free air time?’"

That was just the beginning of a life of miracles. On another occasion Eliason was involved with trying to purchase their first radio station -a 100,000-watt station evaluated at $465,000 even though the ministry "didn’t have a dime":

"The bank said they’d look it over, to see if it would be wise for us to take on that size of an expansion. And not only did the bank suggest it was a good idea, but they also said, ‘The people you reach are your greatest resource. We urge you to do it. How much do you have to put down?’

"I went like this," Eliason said, holding his forefinger to his thumb in the shape of a zero. "’Well,’ the bank said, ‘I guess we’ll have to write your whole check.’"

Eliason could only shake his head, saying, "To God be the glory."

From there the ministry –VCY America, has grown to operate nearly 30 Christian radio stations across the mid-west and provide on-air content for dozens more.

Response: Just a good story to remind all of us in the middle of a major recession that God is still in the miracle business. Whether you are starting a ministry or a business in his name.

Thousands of ministries and churches across America got started with miracles of their own and in today’s recession keep on keeping on depending on God’s alternative kingdom economy.

This well could be the finest hour of the American church where everyone must turn to God in a new way just to pay the bills. But not only that, we are called to expand and take the Gospel to every nation. That is going to take a bunch of miracles, but Praise the Lord he is still in that business.            *Top

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