April 5, 2008
Hello First Love List! (and invitees)
It’s been 20 years since this teaching ministry (now known as First Love Ministry) came to be. The first hand-written “circulation letter” was written April 19, 1988 from a state park in Greenville, South Carolina. It followed a long trip to many scattered friends of faith in eastern North America—“outcasts” who lived as far west as Ohio and Ontario, to as far north as Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. At that time, the purpose of the letters was not just to impart truth, but to help build a fresh prophetic community—something that was set aside in the 90’s as I was called to re-engage the theater-based church. Nevertheless, the letters continued, becoming email letters in 2000, and additionally a website in 2003. (To the original recipients still on my list—you know who you are—thanks for your continued friendship despite the unpredictable turns!)
It is an interesting season in the Spirit. As some of you may also sense, many truly nourishing prophetic spiritual “brooks” out on the internet have begun drying up or have disappeared altogether (I miss hearing from Holly Moody, for one. Thankfully Storm Harvest is still operating.). In view of this increasing “dearth,” my own spirit has become stirred to expand this teaching ministry into a more interactive community of faith—not too unlike the first vision on which it began. Though at this time there can be no immediate personal interaction as I once envisioned, still, there are three “community-like” ways I believe the Lord is leading me to branch out:
(Before I go on—let me just say a word to the “invitees” here—people not on my regular list. I don’t add anyone to my list unless they request it. I’ve copied you on this message because we have had past contact, because I think you would be interested to know what is happening with this ministry, and just to offer you a fresh opportunity to be added [or re-added] to the list if you so choose. That’s all. But you won’t receive anything further unless you request it. Now, back to where the Lord is leading me….)
From time to time, I receive testimonies with substance from readers who make a strong “positive intersection” with an article. These testimonies have as much or more power than the articles they respond to. This is because “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Yeshua builds his church on the power of testimony. Testimonies encourage us as a community to walk in the truth—past the power of an article to individually bless us. Testimonies put a face on the truth, causing it to become all the more powerful and inviting.
You never see these testimonies, but I do. Starting this week, I have begun to release testimonies sent in that I feel can minister special grace and anointing to the entire First Love community of readers. If you respond to an article with a testimony I feel would benefit all, I will ask your permission to share it with the group. If you say “yes,” I will release your name only, but not your email address—unless you specifically request it to be known to the readers. (So there is no misunderstanding, I am not opening a “forum” featuring all responses to articles like Storm Harvest and others do much better.)
2. Opportunities for Intercession
Some of you are gifted burdened intercessors. At the same time, I occasionally receive serious heartfelt requests for prayer—especially from pastors in third world countries. Here in our Anglemar family fellowship, we lift these requests up to the Lord. But we could use some help from the gifted intercessors. It’s important to remember that because of calling and/or faithfulness, many people on this list are not connected to larger assemblies, and have few to whom they can turn for prayer in times of serious need. And those who write from third world countries are usually in desperate situations.
Going forward, I will be releasing such prayer requests for you intercessors to pick up before the Lord as His Spirit impresses you.
3. Opportunities to Give
As soon as you see the word “Give,” you’d likely think I will ask you for donations to my ministry. Wrong…The truth is, I have never solicited a donation to this ministry, though if Paul is any example, I would be well within reason to do so. But that’s not my purpose. My purpose is to offer you an opportunity to donate to others via word of this ministry.
Let me put this into quick perspective for you. First, there is a difference in spirit between “soliciting” donations and “offering an opportunity” to donate. “Soliciting” focuses only on the need of the recipient. “Opportunity” focuses on the mutual benefit to both giver and recipient—which is the way kingdom economy has been designed. Today I am opening up this ministry as a channel that provides you the opportunity to donate from your practical means to meet the needs of others in the kingdom—an opportunity to enrich your own life as well as the kingdom of God of which you are a part.
Second, most Elijah-hearted people have giving hearts, but because of their place “outside the camp,” are at a loss as to how to direct their giving. All they know is they don’t want to give any more to plush church buildings, empty programs and affluent preachers. And they’re not interested in telling the government who they give to so they can derive a personal benefit. They just want to discreetly give to what will directly impart prophetic gospel truth to people, supporting the valid earthly needs of such ministries, as well as to help the poor and needy. And they want to be able to do so with confidence believing that those they give to also share their basic prophetic heart.
From time to time, needs are made known to me from First Love members, especially from third world pastors ministering to widows, orphans, lepers, the diseased and the deprived of famine-raked war-torn countries. Cutting through all the clamor, I “listen” for members who show a dedication to the truth and spirit projected through my ministry. When I sense this in a needy member, I donate. And going forward, I want to give you opportunity to give to such as well. Having nothing more than my own testimony, I want to offer you a confident outlet for giving to someone in need who demonstrates basic harmony with the kind of truth you already believe in through my ministry.
In the end, we can only demonstrate the kingdom if we act as a community of faith. The problem is most of us don’t have a solid visible community the way the Amish or Jehovah’s Witnesses do to build up one another up economically. For our own support we must either rely on ourselves (and maybe one or two others) or fall back on the world’s security and insurance systems (which I hope we loathe), while having no where to give to those of like mind and heart. But if we can avail ourselves through a means like the Internet to help those of like heart and mind, then why not do it? This is something I believe the Lord wants me to help facilitate. So then, I will present other practical needs from time to time from faithful First Love readers as the Lord impresses them on me.
Beside these three areas, the Lord is making other changes and additions to the ministry. Stay tuned! But for now, this is all I wanted to write you about. I leave you with my blessing as always. Thanks to all who have continued to read and respond to these articles. Special blessings to those who have found grace to change and overcome offenses in the face of hard to handle truth. That you are still on the list is itself a great “testimony!” And lastly, greatest thanks to you who pray for me and our family when you receive these articles. We definitely feel the “surges” in divine energy that come after an article is released.
Committed to your advance in the kingdom,