Happy Valentine’s Day a few days early!
I declare this a “Year of His Love”! It’s gonna be a good year! Nearly every night for the last couple of weeks I’ve been dreaming about breakthroughs in relationships. I truly believe that this month and forward that we’re going to begin to see some major breakthroughs that we’ve longed for; breakthrough after breakthrough in our relationships are coming!
I’ve been dreaming lately of the love of Christ shining out of us so powerfully that the very atmosphere is changed and everyone is blasted by the glory. In one of the dreams I saw an angry mob coming for us, but they stopped as we began to radiate light and then like in the movie “Cinderella” their clothes changed from rags to elegant garments and their faces went from scowls to smiles and the atmosphere went from foreboding to a glorious sun lit day! The rest of my dreams have been of acts of radical kindness; serving, listening, encouraging, esteeming, honoring, giving, holding, caring, cultivating, understanding and on and on! It’s time to release His love in greater measure; going the extra mile even when it’s inconvenient!
I heard a wonderful true story once told by Don Finto at a conference years ago. It made an impression on me and parts of it has stuck with me. It was a story of a man who was imprisoned in a communist country. His wife would bring dinner to his cell every day. But day after day the prison guard would take the meal and would eat it in front of him each time. Finally the man was released from prison. And one day he and his wife were out walking when they encountered the prison guard coming down the street. He was coming from the opposite side of the street so the wife crossed over and said to him, “How would you like to come to our house for dinner? I remember how much you enjoyed my food.” And to their surprise he said yes. So he came and as he was eating the delicious meal he began to break down in front of them and through his tears he confessed to the husband, “I watched you every day as I ate your wife’s wonderful cooking and I never sensed an ounce of hatred coming from you. What is it about you people? I want to know this God that you serve.” And they were able to lead him to Christ!
What a savior we have. He’s a savior that can even give us love for our enemies. He gives us a love that empowers us with His overcoming grace and peace; the best kind of love, the God kind! It’s a love that awakens the soul, brings peace and joy and puts a fire in our hearts that makes us long for more! May our friends, family and yes, even our enemies say, “It was not into my ear that you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”
Now allow 1 Corinthians 13 from the Passion Translation speak to your heart like you’re reading it for the very first time!
“And now I will show you a superior way to live that is beyond comparison! For if I were to speak eloquently in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels, yet I don’t express myself with love, then my words are nothing more than an irritating noise, like that of a clanging cymbal. And if I were to have the gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God hidden secrets—and if I possess unending supernatural knowledge— and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains— but have never learned to love, then I am simply nothing! And if I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and offer my body to be burned as a martyr, but without the pure motive of love, I gain nothing of value!
Love is incredibly patient.
Love is gentle and consistently kind to all.
It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else.
Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance.
Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect; nor selfishly seek its own honor.
Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense.
Love joyfully celebrates honesty and gives up a search for what is wrong.
Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others.
Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. Love never stops loving.
It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten.
Our present knowledge and our prophecies are but partial, but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away. When I was a child I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways. For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries, as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face to face.
My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. And until then, there are three things which remain: faith, hope, and love-yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run!”
TPT Bible School
Excited about our TPT Bible School and our January Philippians class. There’s still time to sign up! Click the picture above to go directly to our new website for the school (www.tptbibleschool.com).
May 12-14 Romans- Albany , OR
June 9-11 Acts- Brisbane, Au, River of Life
June 13-15 Colossians – Brisbane, Au, Glory City Church
June 16-19 Galatians – Sydney, Au, Jubilee Church
Aug. 23-25 Ephesians- Calgary,CA
Sept 15-17 1 & 2 Timothy- New London, CT
Oct. 13-15 John, Atlanta, GA
Currently we’re working on 2nd Corinthians and have sent 1st Corinthians off to the publisher. And “Miracles In Your Wilderness” is still in process. Please pray for this long awaited book to finally be finished! Our TPT Bible School is taking some extra time as Brian works on the student notes for the upcoming school.
We’ve set a goal of completing the entire New Testament with Psalms, Proverbs and the Song of Songs by 2017 and we’ve moved our goal for the whole Bible back a year to 2023. You can pick up your copies of The Passion Translation from our web site, stairwayministries.org. Please let all your friends know about it! And if you’re one of our Aussie friends you can purchase all the books from Koorong and amazon.au and our Canadians friends can purchase them at amazon.ca.
A Thank you to our Partners
If you’re a partner we’ll automatically send you each new book of the translation (This does not include the other books, only the translation.) as it comes out as our gift to you! You can also donate to our travels overseas where we affect the nations! We may be in Israel, our first trip of the year, by the time you receive this letter! We have another exciting year of travel! We appreciate all the ways that you stand with us to get the job done!
You can become one of our Partner’s by making a monthly donation of $30, $50, $100 or you can make a onetime tax-deductible gift by credit card on one of the links below for easy access.