Knock, and the Door Shall be Opened

Around Christmas time, I felt the Lord reminding me of the Scripture “Knock, and the door shall be opened.”  Over familiar with the “Ask-seek-knock” passage, I shrugged it off.  “Yeah, yeah – I know, just keep praying”

“No, KNOCK, and the door shall be opened”, pressed itself into my heart. “Actually knock on the doors!”

A few weeks later, I was at a Pastors Conference, and a woman named Faith prayed for me.  “I see the Lord opening double doors for you,” she said.

I shared her message with my lunch buddies that day.  “Ha!” exclaimed one, “That’s like the double doors into the mountains in the movie ‘Lord of the Ring‘”

“Oh yeah,” I responded, “the doors that said ‘Speak friend and enter’ over them!  Remember, they thought it would be all complicated and difficult to open the doors, but they only had to say the word ‘friend’ and the doors opened!”

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, God shook me on the inside and spoke to my heart.  “It’s the same way for Hamilton.  Speak to your friends about the vision you have to move GOHOP into downtown Hamilton and the city will open to you.”

In the subsequent weeks, I met with friend after friend in the city – sharing my heart to see an Urban Monastery that would raise up the next generation of young leaders who would live lives of radical devotion and radical obedience.  Without exception, I was met with excitement, welcome, and support.  Already a location has been donated.  Pastors are freely connecting us with young adults in their congregations they think might be interested.  Young leaders are gathering and beginning to dream together.  We are being received with open hearted hospitality.

But just in case I didn’t get it – God sent us a messenger yesterday.

Kirk and I were in Hamilton, at the passport office, and were just leaving when we were accosted by the security guard at the door.

“Isaiah 45:1!”  He blurted, gazing at us intensely.

“Excuse me?”  We stopped in our tracks. “What did you say?”

“Isaiah 45:1!  God will open before you the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut!”

“What on earth made you decide to say that?”

Turns out he was a former pastor in the Middle East, and although he had more than an acquaintance with the Holy Spirit, he almost never shared prophetic words with people.  But when we passed by, he was compelled to make that decree over us.

Wow.

Now God had our full attention.

There we were, at a passport office, obtaining official permission to enter new territory, and God used the security guard as a divine messenger to decree His purposes.  That’s the most dramatic (and frankly freaky) confirmation we’ve ever received.

The Isaiah 45 passage is Isaiah’s prophecy about Cyrus, at least a hundred years before the Persian leader was born, decreeing that God would open doors for him.  It was dramatically confirmed years later when the doors to Babylon were left open and Cyrus and the Persians caught the Assyrians by surprise and conquered the city.  Double doors are the doors to the city.

So Hamilton, here we come!  The doors are open!  God, and our security guard, who was named, get this, Evangeliste, said so!

But such as I have I give you…

My daughter’s friend Natalie, is sick with a mysterious auto immune disease whose main symptom is severe anaphylactic reactions.  Last year she went to emergency 30 times.  The doctors can’t figure it out, and are presently treating it with chemotherapy.

The problem is that the chemotherapy and the anti-nausea drugs required to help her keep even water down, aren’t covered by their Ontario Disability Drug Plan.  So this single parent family was facing completely unmanageable and crippling medical costs, on top of the stress of the illness itself.

I was rankled by the injustice of this, broken hearted for the family, and wanted to help.  I don’t have a lot of faith for healing yet (though I keep laying hands on people, just in case), and I had no financial resources.  “God, what can I do?”  I asked.

He reminded me of the verse from Acts 3:6 “silver and gold have I do not have, but such as I have I give you” – at which point I reminded Him that my faith for healing was pretty puny.  He then highlighted to me the last section of the passage “such as I have, I give you.”

“What do you have?” He asked.  I thought about it for a bit.  I have the ability to network, to catalyze things, to gather teams together.  That’s what I have.  So I offered up my gifts to Him and listened.  Where to begin?  The phrase “Burlington Community Foundation” popped into my mind.  Was there such a thing?  I went on Google to find out, and there was!  I called them, and found myself talking to someone that I knew from another project in the city, and who intimately knew the family I was concerned about!  She got some balls rolling, we found some other team members.  A press release went out to the Burlington Post, and their story was featured on the front page of our local paper.  You can read it here.

People in the community started running fundraising events.  A local lawyer volunteered his time and a trust fund was established.  And now there is $11,000 in it to take care of their medical bills.  Yay God!

And I even gathered my little shreds of faith, and lay hands on Natalie whenever I can get hold of her (just in case).  She’s not out of the woods yet, and the family still needs tons of support.  If you want to help out, email me and I can help you do so.

Faced with overwhelming odds, Gideon is told by God to “go in the strength that you have.”  That is His word to us.  Do the “you sized things” – leverage your unique contribution, listen to Him for direction and obey, and trust that God will then do the “God sized things”.

Cars and Community – Weber Newsletter

Tow truck drivers are the most interesting people. “You’d better not bring those potato chips into the cab of my truck!” he boomed at Kirk, “I gave up smoking two days ago and I’ll eat em!”  He then proudly told us about how he got shot three times, once for interrupting a domestic dispute (the woman he rescued shot him!), and then twice in Iraq as a US Marine.

 “I got a papercut once!” Kirk quipped.

 “Yeah those @*%# papercuts hurt like hell!” 

We were, one at a time, becoming acquainted with CAA’s whole fleet of tow truck drivers, as our poor PT Cruiser coughed and sputtered its way to its demise.  We’ve finally laid it to rest, with some sadness, as we had inherited it from Kirk’s dad when he passed away and it carried lots of happy memories.  Dr. Weber loved his car – he purchased it as a gift to himself when he retired, and kept it in mint condition.  It has served us well over the years, but finally gave up the ghost this week.   We find ourselves carless and in an accelerated season of ministry.  Geographically it’s a challenge.  We live in Burlington.  The House of Prayer is in Waterdown.  And we have several meetings a week in Hamilton as we are laying the foundation for re-launching GOHOP/the Urban Monastery there in the fall.  Kirk’s acute photosensitivity prevents him from being able to walk/cycle, or take the bus anywhere longer than 5 minutes away.  So here I am today, working from home, praying for God’s provision, and letting you all know about our need. The reality is that sharing honestly about our needs creates community.  I’m a very (sinfully so, I’ve become aware) independent person.  I don’t want to be a bother to anyone.  I’m a hard worker and I can do it all by myself!  I don’t mind gathering teams and creating collaboration for projects, but letting people know about my own personal needs makes me acutely uncomfortable.  I would rather be self contained and self sufficient – thank you very much.  But it is when we are vulnerable with one another about our needs that we have opportunity to care for one another in deep, practical and meaningful ways.  My neighbour gave me some milk last week when I didn’t have any, and I got all weepy and choked up as God manifested His love towards me in that simple act of sharing. 

On Thursday nights we are running a course on Christ Centred Community as we prepare the ground for the House of Prayer/Urban Monastery to shift to downtown Hamilton.  I am finding the course, which is facilitated by www.24-7prayer.com, very challenging as I realize how much our culture, and my lifestyle militates against true community.  Essentially, in many ways, we hang “Do not Disturb” signs over the doors of our lives as we flit from event to event in our daytimers, and then close the door behind us when we get home at night, collapsing on the couch in order to de-compress.  Our course participants made a commitment a week ago to take the “Do not Disturb” sign off our lives, and to invite God to disturb us – to interrupt us (you realize that Jesus ministry on earth was comprised mainly of interruptions, right?), and to take us into deeper community. Little did I know that commitment would entail us losing our means of transportation.  Yeesh, you think we would have learned by now to stop praying those dangerous prayers.  So here we are, without a car or the means to obtain one, trusting the goodness of God, but feeling vulnerable, and letting our community of friends in Southern Ontario and beyond, know where we are at.  Short term if anyone has a car we can borrow immediately, that would be fantastic.  Longer term, we need to acquire another vehicle as soon as we can.  Kirk’s only criterion is that it fit a guitar case sideways in the trunk! If you would like to help out or know someone who can, let us know by emailing is at jill@jillweber.com.