Our Year in KC in Review
We have been in Kansas City for one year now and I can say that it has been a great year and everything has gone as planned so far. We came here about this time last year and we went through the intro to IHOP-KC internship. After that Erika got connected with the natural childbirth/natural mama's community here and she is thriving and walking out her calling with diligence and joy. I have joined staff at IHOP as a sound engineer and I have been working on writing a book on prayer and revival as well as traveling and teaching and preaching at churches across America. Everything is going as planned so far. The lease on our house is up and we are now looking for a new place to rent by April 1st for our next year here. If you all could keep that in prayer, that would be great. We have got some options we are looking out but nothing that fits our time frame, geography, specs and budget yet. There are a lot of irons in the fire but nothing firm yet. We are asking, seeking and knocking while trusting God to provide like He always has and always does. He's good and dependable. I like Him :).
The Growing Family
Tirzah Bethany Bond
As many of you may know, our baby girl, Tirzah was born on January 25th of 2011. She is so beautiful and she makes my heart melt! Her name means, "she is my delight" and she lives up t her name every day. She was our first baby born at home and I've gotta say that I wouldn't have had it any other way. There was so much joy and peace in the atmosphere the night of her birth. So contrary to the hospital atmosphere. She was born in the midst of a beautiful atmosphere of worship and contrary to all circumstances, she was born a perfectly healthy baby. Her umbilical cord was attached to the placenta in a way that normally results in a still birth or miscarriage. She was born with out any issues at all. Erika was calm the entire labor (with the exception of when there were actual contractions happening of course. But even then she was in control and able to relax to a pretty good extent.) She was chatty between contractions and smiling and happy and excited until the baby came. Tirzah was born a "double footling breach". This is another intense part of the labor that normally results in complications however there wasn't enough time to panic as right when we saw her feet come out the rest of her came out really fast with no issues and after it's all said and done, Erika says it was the most gracious labor and delivery she has ever experienced.
Asher is also doing well for the most part. He is such a fearless little guy. He is at that age when he is climbing on everything and jumping face first into everything. He is so hardcore. When he gets hurt while climbing something, he refuses to be comforted, he MUST CONQUER! If he falls off of something and hurts himself, he will go back to the thing he hurt himself again and he will do it over and over again until he can do it without getting hurt. I love that kids determination to conquer and overcome. He is such a little overcomer that refuses to be denied. I love this about his little personality. This kid is going to be an intense guy yet he carries so much joy!!! He is going to be a great leader and overcomer in the days to come. He doesn't let his limitations get him down but he is determined to overcome. He is going to be an inspiration to all who encounter him. he is going to be and already is such a light in this world!
He went in recently to have a small surgery to have the hole that was in his stomach for his feeding tube closed as it was leaking a bit. That went without a hitch. He is recovering well from surgery and living life as normal. We found out that one of his vocal chords is still paralyzed and is one of the reasons why he still isn't able to swallow normal liquids without thickener. He is learning to communicate better with his sign language and we are teaching him more and more words. He is doing well for the most part but can still use prayer to bring total healing of all his health issues that include his kidneys, his paralyzed vocal chord, continued heart health and strength for his immune system.
Joel is 4 and amazing!!! I love this age he is at (his birthday is the 16th of March). We hang out a lot as he is old enough for me to start taking him places with me to do life together a bit more than when he was younger. We are teaching him loads and he is learning really fast as well. He is such a great big brother to his little sister. He loves her, and is always hugging and kissing her on the head and looking out for her and making sure she is okay. He is such a tender hearted kid with such creativity and a gift for leadership. He has to have things go right and in proper order. I can see God using him in the days to come to bring order to chaotic situations and doing it with a kindness and gentleness that makes men great. I am so humbled and blessed to be entrusted with this little man. Pray for me, for grace to raise this boy to be the man God intends for him to be.
While we were still in Florida, some friends got together and started to have these worship and prayer meetings in the back of a restaurant/tea room in Mount Dora. During these meetings, we would seek God and worship Him and pray and fellowship around tasty goodies and the occasional meal. During one of these meetings where we had lined up something like 6 hours of live worship, I was laying on my back outside the tent (the meetings we held in a wedding tent when it was set up some times. It was truly beautiful.) looking at the stars. I told God that I would give my life for this, to establish an incense ministry that would be global and unceasing. My heart was and still is burning for God to be worshiped and adored 24/7 night and day. If for no other reason, because He's worthy of worship that never stops. He deserves to have people paying attention to Him at every minute of every day and I am willing to give my life to see to it that I do my part in making sure that happens. I am giving my life to provoke Jesus' Bride to look at Him and connect with Him. God has given me this vision of being a friend of the bridegroom. My goal is to get Jesus and His bride in the same room so that they can talk and then make this happen as frequently as possible in every geographic place He has given me influence.
During this season, (Let's call it the Garden Gate season. That sounds pretty cool.) During the Garden Gate Season, My spiritual mama, Lorraine, got a word about the circuit riders, that God was going to be raising them up and sending them out across America and the nations. I know that this word was for me and I feel that I am now starting to walk into that invitation to walk with God as a circuit rider. As God gives me influence in regions, I am planning on setting up circuits where I can go and do whatever He strengthens me to do to establish literal sacred spaces that are set aside for people to encounter God. To go and get the love of Jesus' life's eye's fixed on Him knowing that at some point that gaze will eventually provoke His return and along with it, the answer to all injustice. The Spirit has been releasing a global cry to the church "come" to Jesus and know Him for centuries, the culmination of this age will take place when the church harmonizes with this groan of the Spirit and in that day, "The Spirit and the Bride" will cry "come!" (Revelation 22:17).
This last year, I've taken 3 trips to Florida, one to Alabama on the way back from Florida and I'm going to be traveling to Nevada to speak into and equip the leaders of 2 prayer ministries in Reno and in Lake Tahoe for a week. I am really excited about this as God totally made this connection in a way that only he can do. I've met one the pastors of an Assemblies of God church in Reno that has made the decision to focus on prayer and establishing a prayer furnace. He has been here at IHOP going through our commission program. My heart is really linked to what God is doing in Nevada and I am humbled to be able to join them in their journey into the heart of God and His plans for their city. I am stoked about Lake Tahoe as well. I don't know as much about the work up there but what I do know makes me really excited. The Lord has been giving me some clue as to what He is up to up in that mountain and from what I can see, it's quite beautiful. I will have to make sure to update this blog again after this upcoming trip. It's going to be amazing and I feel that it will be very fruitful and that there will be some great stories to tell from this trip that will be an encouragement to you all.
When we moved into our house here in KC, we moved right next door to the best possible family to live next to. Erika found a great in friend in Shannon, who is really connected with the natural childbirth/natural mama's community here in KC. They share the same heart burning for healthy living and for mom's. Erika has been work with Debbie, our midwife and one that works with a lot of the naturally minded women here in KC and they have been having a breast feeding support group weekly as well as a biweekly natural childbirth group. Erika and Shannon are working on putting together a biblically based, natural childbirth teaching model that will help to equip women to give birth naturally as God has always intended. I am so proud of Erika as she walks this calling out. I wanted to ask you all to join me in praying for grace for Erika for strength and anointing to walk out this calling of hers to the fullest.
I am so proud of my wife. She is so much more than I could ever ask for. We are a blessed family indeed to have her as the woman of the house hold. :) ( I Love you Erika!!!!)
So, that's pretty much our year and the latest on us and what we have been doing here in KC. I wanted to take a minute to thank all of our supporters and those of you that have encouraged us over the past year whether in word, deed, prayer or finance. God's grace and your support is what is strengthening us in this ministry God has given us as a family. I wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratefulness for you all. Thank you. In Jesus' name, thank you.
Let me know if you would like to receive our paper newsletter. We have been working on getting that out more regularly. For those that have been getting it, I wanted to apologize for not getting them out the last month or so, we have been making adjustments to living as a family of 5 and getting back into the newly established newsletter rhythm.