March 31, 2010

MP: I am so sorry that this is late!!!!!!

MP writes:


This is going to be a very short post. Hehe.

On Sunday I was at church when I got a text that said, "My mom and dad are really sick. This is really bad for my dad because he is a diabetic and we don't want him to go to the ICU." I received this from my cousin Victoria. So right then and there I started to pray, and cry, that he would not throw up any more. Do y'all want to know how good my Heavenly Father is???? Well God made a way for my Uncle not to throw up any more.

But the sad part was my other cousin, Gabby, had it the next morning and Victoria felt a little bad. Now they are all better, except Gabby who is still recovering!!! But this is a testimony of how God listens to and moves by our prayers!!!! I asked Him, along with many others, to not let Uncle Tuffy throw up.

Next Tuesday Gabby and Victoria are going to be out here and I can barely wait. As Uncle Tuffy put it the first time, try not to pop before y'all see each other. I promise you that I won't but I don't know about them. Haha. Uncle Tuffy's birthday is the day before they come out here on Tuesday. Happy early Birthday!!!!!!! Wow! I am rambling. Sorry for that.

Love always,

March 25, 2010

KP: Available Resources

KP Writes:

I want to pass along some great resources to those who may be interested and unaware that they are now available.

The Prayer Room can be viewed online 24/7 @ for free now. There is no longer a subscription fee, but they do ask for donations to help cover the costs, if you feel so inclined to support.

Many of Mike Bickle’s resources (MP3 teachings, videos, and notes) can also be accessed free of charge on a new website. Many of you know Jules Tompkins-he has been instrumental in getting this site up and running.

We are still holding the Student Awakening Services every week, Wed-Sat, at 6p-12mn. These two can be viewed online by clicking either the Prayer Room or Awakening Service icons at

onthing ‘09 archives are also available on the website. Loren Cunningham and Mark Anderson spoke this year about how close we are to reaching the ends of the earth, and unreached peoples with the Gospel. Advance to 23:15 for Mark and Loren.

I hope you are blessed with these valuable resources. You might even see us at the Prayer Room or the Awakening Services as you watch the webstream.


March 21, 2010

AP: Taiwan/Japan Mission Trip Update #5

Hello all!!!!!

Friday night we had an awesome rehearsal (it was really late.....8-10pm.....but it went really well). Then last night we drove through the 'blizzard' to the second team meeting. On Friday we had beautiful weather......67 degrees with sunshine and clear skies. Then that night it dropped 35 degrees, and while continuing to drop, started snowing. From Friday night until last night we got around 11 or so inches and it stilled snowed until this morning. The snow is absolutely gorgeous! One of the reasons I'm happy that it is here is because I know it will be gone by Tuesday. (We are supposed to be back into the upper 50s all next week). =)

God is so good to us. We were able to accomplish several things in our meeting. First we got to eat a delicious meal together as a team. Then we decided to worship for about half an hour to re-center our focus. Kirsten is such an amazing worship leader! God has given her many incredible gifts! Afterward Mr. Kawase showed us some pictures of the different places we are going to be able to go and people we will get to meet. It was really neat to be able to "pre-meet" some of the people we will be ministering to.

Then we decided what dances we are going to take with us, who is going to be in each dance, who is going to lead each dance, what costumes we will be wearing, props, and other such logistics. These are some of the tentative dances we will be taking. The italicized part is a short description of what the dance is about.

Everything (Lighthouse) skit-salvation skit
Come Thou Fount-personal salvation
Fight piece-reconciliation of broken relationships

Down By the River-unity in prayer
Lifesong-unity in worship
It is Well-peace in the storm
Let the Waters Rise-perseverance through difficulties
This is Home-rest in Christ
I Am Free-freedom in Christ

Hip Hop piece
Improv piece about embracing self worth
Men's piece
Hat's---funny/comical piece
Into The West-restoration

Thankfully Kimberly is a seamstress so that will cut down on a lot of costume costs. We will have rehearsals every Friday night, 7:30-10pm, from now until we leave at the end of May. We will also have rehearsals on Saturday afternoon after classes.

Prayer Requests:
>Pray that God would give all of the dancers strength to add these rehearsals to all of their other classes/other rehearsals as well as finishing out the school semester well and more team meetings.
>Pray for us as a team that unity would abound between us.
>Pray for Kirsten as well as others as she is graduating this year from the dance school and is putting on her own production that several of us are participating in while continuing our normal classes, extra rehearsals for Japan/company performances in April/graduation rehearsals, and school.
>Pray that the rest of the finances will come in for all of the team members.
>Wisdom from Mr. Kawase as he continues to figure out the logistics.

Here are some pictures from this meeting:

Discussing some logistics and looking at pictures.

Thinking of different pieces to take and who to run rehearsals.

Our first team photo!!!!! Yay!!!!! =)

From left to right: Ashton Price, Jenna Kawase, Joshua Kawase, Kenon Kawase, Stanton Smith, Mr. Kawase, Kirsten Kawase, G'ma Nobuko Kawase, Mrs. Kawase, Abi Kawase, and Kimberly Zehr

An attempt at a funny picture while laughing......we are a crazy bunch!

 I am so excited to share what is going on with this part of my life! Thank you so much for praying for me!!! It is such a blessing to be surrounded by people who love me!


March 20, 2010

KP: St. Patrick's Day Evangelism

KP Writes:

St. Patrick's Day again! This is a big day of evangelism here among the IHOP missionaries. If you remember from last year, we talked about what a large event the parade is for downtown Kansas City. Well, the weather this year was not as conducive to street evangelism as last. Not as many spectators came out to secure their roadside seats in the 35 degree rain. The IHOPers were there, however. About 1000 to be exact. So, off to the streets to preach the gospel, prophesy over, and pray for the few who braved the weather in the morning to come out early before the parade.
By the time the parade started, the streets were lined. This year was another an eye opening day. Of special notice is how much more polarized the spiritual climate had become in one year. I think the order of the parade says it all. In front of us a popular secular radio station. On the float was the smooth announcer offering ways of winning fortune and pleasure, enticing all with promise of extravagant temporal reward. Next was the mountain carrying a 'St. Patrick' preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ as the only means for salvation and eternal life in the presence of the holy God. Behind the float were 1000+ intercessory missionaries, giving exuberant high praise to the God of the universe. Following directly behind us, 'The Edge of Hell'. Yes, dressed as zombies, headless horrors, devils, witches, mummies, werewolves, get the picture. Wow, heaven or hell. Hell, disguised as seduction of this world or outright evil in your face without apologies.

Also, this year many individuals were blatant in their jeers and verbal persecution of the church and the message of hope. Only a very few were visible excited and joined in worship. And sad to say, these were older saints, many in wheelchairs. So, what becomes of the support in 5-10 years. These will have gone on to be with the Lord. The mockers will still be around, and had years of influence over those around them: at work, home, etc...

We must tell the world of the truth. We cannot be silent. They are not silent. The future of our children depends on us speaking the truth boldly.

Here is a picture of Levi Lim and her son. (Daniel Lim's wife-many of you know them from their visit to RiverStone)
Love ya,

KP: Change

KP Writes:

I woke up early this AM after a fitful night's sleep. My first thoughts...I'm awake, AGAIN....probably can't go back to sleep.....ohh, my head is THROBBING.....that SOUND-ugh, that is a snow plow!

Ashamedly, not glorious praise for our Creator who breathed life into me and loves me unconditionally. I repent. But, a good starting point for my Heavenly Father to speak volumes that I know are not just for me, hence the blog post.

To start with, you need context. Yesterday was incredible. It was 67 degrees, partly sunny and a beautiful promise of the spring to come. Jeff was able to put on shorts and remove the icicle lights from the house. Wow, there is life after winter in MO. But wait a minute. Do not rush into excitement. Around 4pm the wind began to blow ferociously. Clouds began to move in. By 10 pm it had dropped 35 degrees, the wind was whipping and snow was beginning to accumulate on the ground. Hence, with large swing in barometric pressure I have a pounding headache. And the grinding sound of the snowplow up and down the streets of the neighborhood is due to the fact that there are currently 3.5 inches of snow on the ground. 'They' are calling for what could total about a foot of snow by tomorrow!!! The current temperature is 29 with a wind chill of 17 degrees. Not to worry, the forecast predicts 60 for Wednesday, just 4 days from now. Whew...change!

Change. Why is it annoying? Why do we dislike it? I think the Lord was cautioning me this morning with the words that came after my less than perfect start. Deeper introspection yielded the only possible reasons I could really come up with for the dislike of change: because it disrupts my plans, goes against my appreciation of what I deem good and bad, and causes insecurity in my trust for future events. Wow. Not a good reflection of the life we are called to live in Christ.

First and foremost, the Lord never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is trustworthy. However, when we become too comfortable with status quo, too set in our ways, we have 'no need' of Him. It's all good-so we say, and we do life on our own, in our own way-our own plans. That seemingly works, until, along comes change. Something we hadn't planned on or prepared for. Something we did not choose. The change is not what we had 'wanted' therefore we label it bad. Oh, the self-centeredness of that mindset. The idolatry of 'my way'. What about God's higher purpose? What about the testimony loving others more than ourselves, our stuff, our time, our circumstances? What about the witness of unshakable faith in a good Father amidst circumstances of change? What about the evidence of peace that passes all understanding? What about the witness of trust in an unseen God?

Change is. It has always been part of human existence. But, there have been periods of history with more significant change. We as a nation have been experiencing significant change politically, financially, economically, morally, etc...and it is increasing. We as the church in the West are experiencing great change, and more is coming. All 7 pillars of society are in a flux of change-political, economic, religious, educational, etc...Great shakings are on the horizon. What will be our reaction? Our response? What will be the testimony we give? Will we offer hope, or will be be part of the problem? Now is the time to prepare both our minds and our hearts.

It is not about us. It is about Him. His purposes. His plan. He is coming again to rule and reign on the earth. That will require and result in a great deal of change. What will be our response? What will be our testimony?

Love ya,

AP: Praise Report!!!! Taiwan/Japan #4

Guess what??????? I am pleased to announce that the hard core faith building days have been completed! (Though sometimes I didn't know if I was going to make it through the anticipation!) Kimberly Zehr, Stanton Smith, and I all acquired 3/4 of our support that we needed by March 12th! Praise God! Dr. Kawase had extended the deadline to Tuesday at noon due to the travel agency's availability and timing. On Monday night both Kimberly and Stan were each about $600 short and we all were praying and hoping. On Tuesday night we all got the incredible news! Even though we rejoice in this amazing gift, we would still appreciate your prayers for the other $1,000 that each team member has to raise.

We have our dance meeting on Friday and our team meeting on Saturday. I will keep you updated!

Ashton :)

March 14, 2010

JP: Martha Graham

Everyone else has posted about it, why not have dear old dad's take on Clytemnestra. Greek Mythological Tragedy - need I say more? For the first 10 or so minutes I was totally lost. Kind of like a blind man in the Amazon Jungle with a Chinese map. I knew where I was, knew a little about ballet, but hadn't a clue about what they were trying to convey on stage.

That is until I noticed that people kept looking up periodically. Here is where my mom was wrong all those years in telling me not copy people. Because, looking up brought clarity!! Way up high they were giving scene subtitles. The Bible is right. Clarity does come from on high! If the ushers had been more proficient in their
ushing duties, they would have given us Martha Graham novices a little heads up on this factoid (get it!?!? "heads up!"), wouldn't you think? With this little gem of wisdom, I was finally somewhat able to get a handle on what was going on. Again, I point out that it was a Greek Mythological Tragedy, therefore we have somewhat of an understanding.

I will have to say that I enjoyed it for the most part especially from our 3rd row, dead center, $45 seats that cost us $0.00. Can you say thank you Lord! I could have even passed for a
connoisseur of the performing arts. That is until I got the giggles near the end when the dead king came out wearing gold Herman Munster platform boots that were supposed to give the appearance of him floating above the other characters. Did I mention that King Herman had split his too small, tighty, blackie shorts in a very noticeable location visible only from the front (thank you Aunt Jenn for protecting my precious ballerinas' eyes!)? Don't panic. Fortunately he was wearing tighty, whities underneath. But did King Herman change during intermission? Why, of course not!! Must have run out of all that fabric Ashton said that Martha Graham loved.

So, here is my take on the whole plot. King Herman and his friends went off to fight Troy because Prince Paris of Troy had seduced Helen, Herman's sister-in-law, and taken her to Troy. While Herman was away fighting for 10 years (and no, the liberals were not complaining about the length or cost of the war), it seems Queen Lily and Herman's cousin had a little fling. Not to be out done, King Herman was having a fling of his own with Lucille Ball. After the war, King Herman returned and was murdered by Queen Lily and her lover. When their son and daughter Eddie and Marilyn returned, they were so distraught over their father's death that they killed their mother. Makes sense. We think lover boy bit the dust, too, as they threw the knife at him as he ran off stage. He must not be able to fake dying very well. Good dancer, bad
dier. So,there you have the Greek Tragedy Clytemnestra in an nutshell.

Just think, all this could have been averted if they all would have kept to their own yards and someone would have sewn up King
Herman's shorts!

AP: Martha Graham

Guess what?????? I got to take a master class from an instructor at the Martha Graham Company and then got to see the Company perform last night! It was incredible. The Company is on tour and one of their stops was Kansas City. Because our studio is the only studio in KC that teaches a strictly Graham based modern (which I absolutely love! You know me.....dancing without shoes is the best!) we asked for a master class to which they agreed. And we only had to pay $10! And then, because we are the only Graham based modern studio, the place they performed at gave us free tickets to a show that normally cost $45 per ticket! My parents, Mallory, and I all got to go. It was really cool. We saw the performance Clytemnestra. It had a weird storyline, all the Greek mythology stuff that Martha Graham was into, but it was really cool to see the movements I do in class on stage. It was really neat.

Martha Graham when she was dancing.
She died sometime in the 90's.

Queen Clytemnestra in the production.
Martha Graham loved pieces of large fabric.

Anther picture of choreography of Martha Graham.....

Again, she loved the fabric....Doesn't it make fabulous lines?

A scene from the production Clytemnestra.
Also in the production.

A company member.

Martha Graham.

A company member.

Martha Graham and her fabric.

One of the company members. Isn't she incredible?

Same company a different position. :)

Part of the production........He was Hades.

Other company members.

I love this is so flattering.

In the production.

Isn't his tilt incredible???? I wish my legs would do that!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. I'll write more later.

KP: Pictures from Night Out

KP Writes:

Mallory already blogged about our big night on the town in Overland Park, Kansas. Here are some pictures to go with her story. Before we went to the theater, we went to the Crown Center downtown Kansas City, MO. We wanted to show the girls the beautiful fountains and the outdoor skating rink. We were able to walk across the indoor sky walks between the Westin and the Hyatt and several office buildings. From them, we could see the elevated view of the lit trees, skate park and fountains. It was much warmer walking above as well.
This weekend was also the Big 12 Tournament for basketball. Of course, we couldn't pass up this photo op. (I am so glad that I have my camera back!!)
As you can see, the older are the wiser. We left our coats on for the pictures, and wore long sleeve sweaters!
"See Ashton, the camera is too focusing!"
"I love you with all my heart. I am so thankful for a sister like you!"


AP: Taiwan/Japan Update #3

Hi ALL!!!!

We have a dance rehearsal Friday evening and then a team meeting on Saturday evening but until then I won't really have any new updates. Here are some prayer updates:

  • Unity among the dancers and intercessors.
  • Open hearts among the Taiwanese/Japanese people.
  • Protection (mind, body, spirit) as we travel through the air and inland.
  • Openness and humility for the dancers as we encounter a new culture.
  • Strength for Mr. Yutaka Kawase, Jenna Kawase, and G’ma Nobuko Kawase—they are the main translators.
  • Open, humble, interceding hearts for the nation of Taiwan and Japan. Vision; “downloads” from God on how to pray for this nation.
  • Isaiah 61—We desire to see strongholds pulled down and God’s inheritance for people of the nation of Taiwan and Japan. We want to see the captives set free!
  • Strength and health as I add additional rehearsals to learn the dances and help create choreography for ministry on the trip.
  • That the Lord would increasingly tenderize my heart for the people of Taiwan and Japan as I prepare to go
  • That I would grow in my love for Jesus and the Holy Spirit and have increase revelation of the Father's love for me so that I might share with others from a place of overflow
  • That I would have the spirit of intercession in increased measure
  • That I would have increase in the burden of the Lord in intercession for the people of Taiwan and Japan
Thank you so much for covering this trip in prayer! It means so much!

~Ashton :)

March 12, 2010

MP: Martha Graham and Visitors :)*

MP writes:

Hello Y'all,

I am finally back to my old self . I can now stand up and do everything . Of course I am still a little energy deprived but I can do everything. It was amazing how well you can get by just taking antibiotics for a few days. Though I might be coming down with something else. :( O well at least I know that my family will take good care of me. Sometimes I feel like someone is throttling me and I sound very garbled.

A couple of days ago Dramatic Truth, our dance studio, received some free tickets to the Martha Graham Performance. All dancers had first dibs on the tickets. Then, because most of the dancers who would normally go were preforming in South Dakota, the tickets were opened up to the parents of the dancers that were going. So all four of us were able to go and had a great time there. This was a nice frugal thing for the dance studio.

The Martha Graham company performed Clytemnestra at Johnson County Community College theater. It was particularly great to me as a dancer for two reasons. One was because we were so close to the stage that we could see even the small contractions of their muscles, and secondly, because when they stood still (and man, at some points some of them stood still for like three minutes) it looked like they were not even breathing.

This show was about the Helen of Troy from Greek mythology. Because there was a curse on the family they were always turning against each other and having them murdered. My teacher Sarah and her husband, Nate, were sitting behind us. At intermission Nate said " When does Jesus come on the stage?" And we all had to refrain from laughing. But Jesus did not show up on this stage as an actor. Haha. They had amazing technique though.

I can honestly say that I really don't like losing an hour of sleep even though I slept in. But it kinda felt like I lost an hour of my life even though I'm going to get it back in a few months. Oh well, it just means that I will sleep like a baby tonight!!!!!!!! Wahoo.
Now that makes me very excited.

Another thing that makes me excited is having visitors. In fact we have two sets of visitors coming in the next month!!! The first set of visitors are Gabby and Annatoria, my cousins, and they are coming in 23 days. Yeah!!!!! Two weeks after them we have our second set and they are our grandparents, my mom's parents. I am also so very excited about them coming too!!!!
I don't rue the day that we have visitors at all.

Love always,

P.S. if you want to come out here just email my mom and schedule a date!

March 10, 2010

JP: Simplicity

No one else can love You like I love You Lord
For I was made unique in Your heart
I was made to bring You joy

Now I have a purpose
Now I have a destiny
You made me for Your glory
You made me for Your glory

I don't know why we Americans just can't be satisfied with simplicity. We are always trying to make something bigger, better, and greater than it is. If something seems simplistic or menial, we pooh pooh it and think that it is second rate or low in quality. This holds true in respect to our entertainment, our occupations, our homes, our cars, our vacations, and even how we relate to God. Basically, everything that effects our lifestyles. We can't just accept simple. Our mentality is - "if it is simple, then it isn't the best that it can be." We always have to improve on everything.

For example, at one time or another everyone ponders the question -
"What is the meaning of life or what is my purpose?" God answered this question in both the Old and New Testaments. But in our own wisdom, we can't accept His answers because we think - "that's too easy. There's more to it than that."

Let's look at the Old Testament. We have Moses coming down the mountain after hanging out with God for 40 days, and he proceeds to lay out God's plan for relating to His people. He sums it up in one simple sentence in Deuteronomy 6:5- Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Immediately, he lays out the benefits of following this statement and the downfalls of not. That's it?!?! Surely, there's more to it than that! It has to be more intellectually challenging than that in the New Testament. In Matthew 22, Jesus is having a Q&A session with some Sadducees and Pharisees and addresses God's plan after being questioned by a so called expert in God's laws. Matt 22:36-40, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Wait a minute! That's the same answer? There's got to be more to life than just loving the God who created you, right? Surely, He made me for a greater purpose than that. After all, He probably created all these beautiful mountains, lakes, animals, plants, etc to bring Himself joy and other people to love Him. There is something bigger or better that He has in mind for me. If not, then I'll find something I can improve on. Arrogant thinking, huh?

Why is it so simple? Is it because God is simple? No way! Look around. When was the last time our scientists created a flower, animal, human, or anything out of nothing? It's simple because He knows us and loves us. It's not about us, it's about Him. Sometimes, we don't always exemplify the intelligence that He placed inside us or to put it another way, we're not always the brightest bulb on the tree. He's not out to trick us. It's simple because it's simple - pure and simple love for the Lord.

I'm closing with the same excerpt from a song that I opened with. It states the truth of what our purpose is:

No one else can love You like I love You Lord
For I was made unique in Your heart
(Ps 139:13-14)
I was made to bring You joy
(Is 62:4; Song of Sol 4:9;7:6)

Now I have a purpose (Matt 22:36-40)
Now I have a destiny (1Tim 2:3-4; 2 Thess 2:13)
You made me for Your glory (Is 62:4)
You made me for Your glory (Is 43:7)

Enjoy the video below

FYI - the 3 "old guys" that you see on stage are Allen Hood - President of IHOPU (left front), Daniel Lim - CEO IHOP-KC (far back left), and Wes Hall - Provost of IHOPU (at end)

March 9, 2010

AP: Taiwan/Japan Mission Trip Update #2

AP writes:

Hello all! Praise the Lord! I wanted to share with you that I now have 3/4 required funds to be able to go on the Mission Trip to Taiwan and Japan in May. Thank you to each and every one of you who have supported me with your prayers and with your finances in this journey of faith. Please continue to pray with me for the remaining funds to be raised.

A couple of the others on the team are not doing so well financially, so please pray for their income to come in too! They have a few more days to raise the funds to secure their spot on the team. (ie to have the money to purchase the airline tickets and rail passes.)

I have been checking out the details pertaining to my immunizations and have more good news to share. In the state of MO the Tdap (the type of tetanus shot I need) is FREE. Also, the health department here does not charge you a consultation fee to evaluate which travel immunizations are needed. (It was $75 in GA back in 2004!) No doubts, my mom the physician assistant, has already gone to and all appropriate health sites to investigate the information for me. The team leader is also a family practice physician, so I really did not want to have to pay the Health Dept. a fee as a matter of formality. Jackson County Health Department will also give me the typhoid pills, which I prefer because they give me longer immunity than the shot, for $50. Thank you, Lord. Now I just have to obtain a seasonal flu shot (they only have H1N1) and a prescription for traveler's diarrhea. (Let's pray against this!)

My new passport arrived in the mail Saturday. I now have my new passport number so I can purchase the bullet train pass for Japan. It must be purchased from here in the US to buy the 2 week pass at a considerable savings. So now, I am chipped. Well, my passport is. I am not sure how I feel about that....

Thank you all who are praying for me and the team! It is greatly appreciated. We have our next team meeting March 20th. I am very excited about this trip the way God is bringing certain details together.

Here are a few areas you could lift up in prayer for me:

>strength and health as I add additional rehearsals to learn the dances and help create choreography for ministry on the trip.
>that the Lord would increasingly tenderize my heart for the people of Taiwan and Japan as I prepare to go
>that I would grow in my love for Jesus and the Holy Spirit and have increase revelation of the Father's love for me so that I might share with others from a place of overflow
>that I would have the spirit of intercession in increased measure
>that I would have increase in the burden of the Lord in intercession for the people of Taiwan and Japan

Thank you for standing in partnership with me. May the Lord bless you!

Ashton :)

March 8, 2010

KP: Thoughts to Destiny

KP Writes:

I have this little saying/poem hanging on the wall in front of the desk where I seem to live. It hung in my study in Marietta and it hangs here in Grandview. (I have no idea where it was when we were at the rental house in KC :)

I'm not sure why, but I felt led to post it here a couple of days ago. Again today I think I am supposed share it. I may not be the brightest bulb on the tree, but apparently someone needs to hear it so I think I will share it today. It has been around for a while so you probably have seen it before, but it is a good refresher.

Watch you Thoughts, they become Words.
Watch your Words, they become Actions.
Watch you Actions, they become Habits.
Watch your Habits, they become Character.
Watch your Character, for it becomes your Destiny.

Love ya,

March 7, 2010

KP: Contending, Surrender and Love

KP Writes:

I was reading Elijah List and ran across this excellent article by AJ Butel. I have condensed it but the majority of the writing is not mine but AJ's. The content however is the place where I think many of us are as intercessors. We are contending for heaven on earth. Contending is a present progressive -ie it is continuing and not yet completed. Let us press in to the more that is our inheritance as children of the King!

During the last 2 months as I have grieved the loss of my friend and mentor, Julia, I have sought the Lord on how to make my mind, will and emotions line up with the truth of who He is and the situation that has occurred both in the natural and in the spirit realm. I think AJ summed it up with this conclusion which I have modified as I reflect upon praying for Julia's healing, then resurrection. "I have a supernatural peace found only in my assurance of God-the-Healer and adoration for God-the-Kind. I haven't experienced my immediate desired effect of healing, but I trust in God-the-Just. I know He has promised to pay back seven-fold what the enemy attempted to steal. And try as he may, he didn't succeed in taking my love for my God!"

For me it has been a process and I am sure that it will continue to be. Ashamedly, I did take the longer route of disappointment and anger than what AJ describes. But in His great love, God the Merciful brought me to the place where I can call upon God the Faithful. Even when our circumstances do not align with our declarations, God is ALWAYS good and He works all things together for good for those who love Him and trust Him.

Be Blessed,

article by AJ Butel

More Than Words

Last month a tragedy struck at the heart of our church family. A beautiful baby boy, the child of our youth pastors, was born full term—but without breath. His parents named him Asa. Asa Jeremy Stuart. It means "anointed healer."

As we learned the news, we began to gather in prayer and support for Jeremy, Renita, and their family. We cried out passionately for the resurrection of Asa's littleness. And our hearts burned with the conviction that our God who breathes life would raise him from the dead.

We each held Asa's newborn earth-suit and surrounded him with the presence of the Lord. We rebuked death, stroked his sweet cheeks and declared life. We kissed his silky dark hair and spoke destiny over him. We shared testimonies of God-the-Mighty and His divine intervention. We cried. We worshiped. The room was electric. Our hearts were ablaze with expectancy and our hands buzzed with His power. His peace was thick and weighty like a tropical embrace. The young revivalists in our region spent all-night vigils praying, quoting Scripture and worshipping. Many Believers from across the globe stood alongside us and joined with our faith. And some, who had seen God's resurrection power at work in other situations, combined their anointed prayers with ours.

But I have to tell you...even though we unswervingly believed God, Asa's untainted lips never drew air.

Surrendered In Trust

As I write, I weep...not only because of the ache our hearts feel when we miss Asa; but the tears that line my cheeks are also ones of gratitude for the miracles we encountered as we all contributed our faith and love—in one accord. Steadfast in trust... Surrendered to His promises... We were in unity, abiding in Him—corporately releasing His presence. I marvel at the empowerment and resilience of love. There is nothing quite so beautiful and impacting as a community resolved in His love which never fails! It is the combustive atmosphere where Heaven and earth align—and miracles are realized!

Even when I saw Asa's tiny white coffin, although heart-wrenching, I had a supernatural peace found only in my assurance of God-the-Healer and adoration for God-the-Kind. We hadn't experienced our immediate desired effect of seeing Asa open his eyes or hearing his wee cry, but we trust in God-the-Just. We know He has promised to pay back seven-fold what the enemy attempted to steal. And try as he may, he didn't succeed in taking our love for our God!

Admittedly, the situation presented a loud and clanging opportunity to wallow in disappointment and anger, however I watched the most incredible phenomenon unfold in people's hearts. Instead of dwelling on questioning how Asa died and why he didn't come back—we continued to choose to lean into God-the-Faithful.

During this time, Jeremy and Renita contended fiercely for the life of their son. Their courage and devotion was simply spectacular! Moment by moment they drew strength from the One who had formed and fashioned Asa's perfection in the womb. And then when the time came, I watched them dedicate him back to our Papa, God-the-Father, who now embraces Asa with a love incomparable.

Such are the complexities of the Kingdom. Sometimes we savor victory, yet there are other times when our circumstances might not align with our declarations. Regardless, God is ALWAYS good. And He works all things together for good, for those who love and trust Him (Romans 8:28). I watched God-the-Merciful move tenderly to comfort their pain. Holy Spirit alighted His peace upon their surrender! He turned their sorrow to joy, and continues to make this exchange as they remain hidden and safe in Him. They are more in love with Him than they have ever been!

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March 5, 2010

KP: It is Time for Healing

KP Writes:

I am contending for healing. Yes, I know, we have all been contending for healing for a long while. Besides, I am an intercessory missionary and isn't that a part of my job description. No. I mean I am really going after this thing. Now, I am in a fired up. It is not ok that people are sick, not my friends, not my family. It is not ok that people die of sickness, not my friends, not my family. It goes contrary to the Word as I read it. I am the first to admit that I do not understand all the parallel truths about living in a fallen world and death then resurrection (I do get the resurrection part), healing only to die later, etc... But I know that the devil came to steal, kill and destroy. And I am tired of him having successes in 'my neighborhood' when the Word says that I am to pray for the sick and they will be healed.

I have a close friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer, again. I recently put a lot of my thoughts, prayers, hope, into words for her and our group of 8 friends. I am posting it 'as is' rather than recreate it here for this blog. Be encouraged. Be challenged. Be stirred. Be filled afresh with faith. Stand with me in prayer for those who are sick! (Please lift up Jill, Don, Ethan, Diane, and Debbie-go to battle with me for these ones in their time of need.)

Here is what I emailed to my friends:

On Thursday nights we meet with a group of about 15 other intercessory missionaries and their families who are all here in KC (and all of whom are involved with IHOP) Last night I shared a little of your 'story' and this recent attack from the enemy. We spent a good portion of the time interceding for your healing, as well as praying for your husband, your children, and your moma. We declared the Word over you for healing and renounced and rebuked this attack by the devil. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. But, Jesus has come that you might have life and have it abundantly!! By His stripes you are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, I Peter 2:24) It is a done deal, sealed at the cross. He came to cleanse us of our sin and heal us of our infirmities. His sacrifice was and is enough.

In Exodus, God even reveals Himself declaring His character, "for I am the Lord, who heals you." Yes, He was speaking to Moses and the Israelites but He is not a respecter of persons. Also, it wasn't about them anyway, it was that God was revealing His character.

Matt. 10:8 "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." These were Jesus instructions to his disciples as he sent them out. We too are His disciples. He would not tell us to do that which He did not empower us to do. As born again believers, we are Spirit filled.(and pray for more infilling of the Holy Spirit) The Holy Spirit is healer (and comforter, and....). So we call on Him as part of the trinity, come and heal. Also in Luke 16:15-18 Jesus is giving instructions to His disciples (again, we too are His disciples)right before His ascension into heaven. So basically, these are His final instructions to us of what we are supposed to do until He comes back or until we go to Him, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs WILL accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they WILL place their hands on sick people and they WILL get well." There is something to the laying on of hands, something much more than I think we comprehend. If you are ok with it , I encourage the girlfriends to lay their hands on you as they pray. James 5:16 "...and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." That is us, because we have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus. I see Sunday pm is a milestone in our relationship as a group. Yes, we have prayed blessing at meals together, at weddings and funerals corporately, and for each other in our private prayer time. But often times because our closest friends know us best (the good, the bad, and the ugly) we tend to compartmentalize our spirituality. I don't know if that makes any sense but, I see this time Sunday as a a deepening of all our friendship, at least for me. I am so glad y'all are willing to "phone" me in, or if anyone has Skype, I can do that too.

But also in that part of James 5 earlier at verse 14-16, I see us doing exactly what the Word tells us to do,"Is any of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Two things here, again I don't get it completely because of my western mindset and the way the church has been for a hundred + years in the west, but there is something major that shifts in the Spirit with anointing the sick with oil. It is up to you, but if you do not mind, then ask the girlfriends to anoint your forehead with oil. God would not have put that part in the Bible just for 'filler'. He put it in there for a reason. If nobody has any fancy, scented 'prayer' oil, use vegetable oil. I have. Besides, I don't think they had a Sweet Spirit or a LifeWay store back in Jesus' days!

The other thing is I have been praying is for more faith for you and for all of us! I especially have been praying that prayer for me. I want more faith. "Ask all these things (according to My will) and they will be given to you". Well, I know it is His will for us to have more faith. I have been walking around in all kinds of situations praying, "Lord, I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief"-Mark 9:24. And yes, I walk around and say these things out loud. There is power in the spoken word. And I want to speak life and not death. There is power in our words, so I want my spoken words to be His Word. His Word, The Word is sharper than any two edged sword. It never returns void! So I decided years ago to do battle in the heavenlies by speaking the Word over my life and my situations. I declare what the Word says. I might not see it, act it, or even totally believe it in my head (that old heart/head disconnect thing) but the Word is truth. So, I weld my weapon and speak out the verses for my situation. I encourage you to do the same. Also, you might say that if you say something that you don't yet see in the natural, then declare it, what is that? Romans 4:17 says,"..God...calls those things that be not as they were." It is like God seeing the end product in us (because He is omniscient and not limited by time) and we might not be there yet, but He sees our destiny. (Please do not think that I am in any way leaning into a false doctrine of name it claim it. I am not. I am saying if God says in the infallible Word that I am holy(I Peter 1:16) for example-, even if I don't feel holy, act holy, look holy, sound holy then I am holy. He sees the end product, and He sees me through the redeeming blood of His Son. Yes, I know He still calls sin sin. You know what I am saying, you know my heart.)

Psalm 103 has become one of my favorite passages. David is praising the Lord, like in a big time way in a time of personal worship. In verse 2 he recounts to himself and encourages himself by speaking to his own mind, will, and emotions with"Praise the Lord O my soul, and forget not all his benefits---" Then in verse 3 he starts to list some of the benefits of knowing God as Lord, "who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,". I like defining words and here the Word says ALL. Even, cancer-again. ALL.

I love you. You might wish my computer would get another virus. But I have really been going round and round and deeper and deeper on this healing thing with the Lord. He said it. So, I am ready to see a real, live miracle. He is the God of miracles. He does not change. He is the same today and yesterday. I am just sorry that you have to be at the center of this. Sometimes I do wonder, who will you come into contact with a the doctor's office or hospital or pharmacy or even at work who will have their life changed because of your faith, because of your testimony of God's goodness-all the time-even during this, because of your healing, or because of your miracle? You are a wonderful witness of the God you love.

Be blessed. I love you. I wish I could be there in person.

AP: Week of Firsts Part 3 of 3

AP writes:

Here are some pictures from our first team meeting:

These are some of the people going on the trip. From left to right is Jenna Kawase (the oldest Kawase kid), Joshua Kawase (the youngest Kawase kid), Natalie Wilson (she is only going to Japan, but getting there two weeks ahead of us and leaving a few weeks after us), and Kimberly Zehr.

Abi Kawase (she is the youngest girl), me, Nobuko Kawase (their grandmother), Sue Kawase (their mom), Kenan Kawase, and Yutaka Kawase.

Same as above but with Kirsten Kawase on left (she is one of my closest friends here in KC), and Stanton Smith on the right. 

My two favorite people in KC! (Kirsten and Abi.......Kirsten's older)

I will write more later as things come along. But as for 8 days are ticking! Time to go pray! :)

AP: Week of Firsts Part 2 of 3

AP writes:

We also had our FIRST team meeting last Sunday. It was a good time of fellowship (we had a potluck) and being able to discuss some of our plans. We were able to talk about different places we might go, transportation, logistics, dances we are going to take, and much more. It was a great time. We are still currently not sure if we are going to be able to go to the nursing homes in Hiroshima but are still trying to work it into our schedule. Some of the different places we are going to go in Taiwan are: flying into Taipei (near the top right), traveling by train to Tainan (bottom left), by bus to Kenting (bottom right), by train toTaotuan (top left), and back to Taipei by taxi to fly to Japan.

Then we will fly to Narita (Tokyo I think--near middle right), drive to Yokohama (Yamanashi on this map--just south of Tokyo), take the bullet train (I am so excited!-they are very precise and therefore have professional "pushers"-you only have 15 seconds to get everybody on/off before the doors close-they did a study last year and the average time that they were running behind on all of the trains nation wide was 6 seconds!) to Hiroshima (bottom left), back by bullet train to Yokohama, bus to Tokyo, and then fly back to the U.S.

This trip is going to be so exciting! I will write more later........

AP: Week of Firsts Part 1 of 3

AP writes:

Wow. It has been forever since I last wrote! I really ought to be more diligent about writing at least weekly. As you might be wondering from this title, my week has been very interesting. Most of you know that about two weeks ago I was invited to be a part of a mission team going to Taiwan/Japan for two weeks. The major dilemma on whether I was going to be a part of that team was if I could get almost all of the money needed in just 14 days! (we had to do this in order to secure plane tickets) So I'm still currently in my faith building time with 8 days left (I need the funds by March 12th-keep praying).......I'm trusting God that He will cause the right thing to happen. (But its really hard!) Pray also for the other team members as they too have to raise their money in time for this deadline. It would be terrible if one of us who felt called to go, couldn't just because of financial reasons. And the team just wouldn't be the same without all of us. answer to my prayers for the opportunity to earn money to go on this trip, God gave me the chance to fill in for a friend of mine at the Holiday Inn working as the continental breakfast buffet attendant. It was so much fun! I worked four days last week training and then I worked five days this week. I'm also going to work on Monday. I have to be at the hotel by 6am.....uggghhh.......I know. Its very funny to watch me, a non-morning person, at 6am because my brain hasn't quite woken up yet. Several times I will walk into the kitchen and just stand there trying hard to figure out what in the world I came in there for! It makes me laugh so hard. I am responsible for putting out all the food, cooking the hot food (biscuits, eggs, and meat-either bacon, sausage, or sausage gravy), getting out all the plates, cups, and utensils, making sure the coffee stays full, keeping the hot water full, putting out oatmeal and hot chocolate, cleaning off the tables, keeping crumbs off the counter, ordering supplies, putting away deliveries, and then putting it all away, preparing for the next day by stocking up the trays, cereal, and refrigerator, sweeping, mopping, washing dishes, taking out the trash, and vacuuming. And that's only part of the responsibilities. It normally takes me until 11:30 to finish cleaning up. (the breakfast is only open from 6:30 to 9:30). I really enjoyed working here. And I got my FIRST paycheck! I did not like the fact that Uncle Sam took $11 of my hard earned money!

MP: Sickness

MP writes:

Hi all,

So as some of you know I was extremely sick on Saturday and stayed pretty sick through Wednesday. During those days I left the couch only to go to the bathroom or go back to bed. After Monday I left the couch to take a shower, which I sat in. Yesterday I actually made it to the table to eat!! I still felt like uggg but my mom kinda forced me to come to the table though half of the time I was laying on it. Today I can walk around a bit but only for like fifteen minutes. I am still on the couch. Ba-hum-bug!!!!!!!!!!!! ( Nana did I spell that right?)

Papa, Mommy says that at your house couch sick time is three days? Well I guess I am very lucky that I am not at your house because I have been on the couch for almost 6 days!!! Would I have been allowed to stay because I am a grandchild? Or would I have been moved to the cot? Or would you have done what you do to squirrels on the bird feeder to me? :):):):):)

Today was my first day out of the house since Saturday at noon. It has been a really hard time for me. I went to see Ashton at work. Haha. I was only gone for less than one hour and I am physically worn out. How sad is that?

But in all of this I did learn something spiritual. God was teaching me to have more patience for the things he has planned for my life and to trust his timing. I love y'all

Love always,

P.S. I forgot to tell you that I have already gone through an entire tissue box.