21st Century, fasting, government, Governors, History, Intercession, Jesus, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, justice, omnipresent history, Prayer, Uncategorized

To the Honorable Tim Walz, Governor of Minnesota

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Judgement is a windmill.

Monday July 13, 2020

To Honorable Governor Walz, and the Minnesota Executive Council (Lt. Governor Flanagan, Attorney General Ellison, Secretary of State Simon, and State Auditor Blaha.)

As a courtesy, allow me a brief introduction? My name is James Orvis, married to Chris with three teenage daughters that all speak Mandarin. (Thanks Yinghua Academy!) We are currently residents of the Como neighborhood in St. Paul. I worked for years as a touring drummer (Romantica), currently pay the bills working photoshoots for a large Minnesota retailer, and for a light hobby have researched and written a prayerful interpretation of Minnesota’s most significant events of the past 300 years. My wife and I both have the distinction of surviving a coup d’tat; mine in Tallinn, Estonia (’91), and hers in Haiti when Aristide was ousted in 1994.

We have seen and tasted enough politics of the world to last a lifetime, and that is why I come hesitantly to ask one question; when will you restore our freedoms of religion, and reiterate for posterity that worship is essential? My personal mourning for this loss is so deep that I began fasting and praying for myself and all Minnesotans’ since May 11, 2020. I need my freedom to worship the G-d I love more than food!

I, as most Minnesotans’, do not blame you for your initial use of emergency powers to shut down the state. We had no data and were facing a colossal pandemic. For example, on March 11, 2020, “Congress’ in-house doctor (Dr. Brian Monahan told Capitol Hill staffers at a close-door meeting this week that he expects 70-150 million people in the U.S. — roughly a third of the country — to contract the coronavirus, two sources briefed on the meeting tell Axios.”* Most of us did not envy the weight of your responsibility given such claims and expectations.

In response to information such as that, you gave the initial declaration of peace time emergency on March 13, 2020. On April 8th, you extended the Stay at Home (Executive Order 20–33) order until May 3 at 11:59 PM. Again, you extended the stay at home order on April 30th for Minnesota until Sunday May 17 at 11:59 PM.** Today, you extended Minnesota’s peacetime emergency through August 12th.

Again, I appeal to you Governor and executive council members to take off your political hats, and try to see our life through a G-d’s eye lens. What is the cause and effect since the shutdown? A few examples:

  1. No Easter, even in the Vatican, for the first time in 1700 years!? No Sacraments? No grace flowing from the altar into the community. Though I’m a Christian with a Swedish Lutheran, Polish Jewish and Polish Catholic heritage, I seriously mourn that Minnesotans’ felt the loss of Ramadan, Pesach or Passover, and meditating at their temples.
  2. A state-imposed limitation of our work. To work is to participate in Creation, and to express our human dignity. It is a primary act of worship; i.e. “I may be changing tires, but I choose to work as if the King of the Universe were my customer.”
  3. We have paid dearly during the Peacetime Emergency for the loss of relationship between small business owners and their customers. It is not just an economic hit, but a hit on the basic trust and voluntary connections between neighbors. We spend money where we know and trust the people.
  4. We have allowed the fear of Covid 19 to rob us of the things that bring us joy: going to the park, eating a meal, having a beer, watching a ballgame, going to school, playing with friends, buying a coffee, sitting in a cafe, going to the theatre, shopping in a favorite store, and going out to dance. Etc. How are these simple pleasures an act of worship? Whether we acknowledge the Deity or not, when we feel joy we are reminded that “something is good in this universe, I’m tangibly experiencing it, and I belong here. I matter to somebody, and somebody matters to me.”
  5. Worship, I believe, in the Old English means something akin to “worth-ship, or to call something worthy”. Simply put, worship is choosing what is valuable to us. Our choices forge our experiences, and our experiences create our sense of memory. Our memory is what creates our identity. Composer Clive Wearing suffers from retrograde and anterograde amnesia. To his psychologists, he is known as “30-second Clive” because his condition usurps his past. In effect, he has largely lost his personality.**** Why is this relevant? There is an unprecedented cessation or censorship of worship for approximately 2.9 billion people internationally because of the Covid pandemic. What are the international results? We are experiencing one of the most profound attacks on history or historical statues and symbols in recollection, primarily through youth movements. Will this result in personal and cultural amnesia for our kids? Are we raising a “30-second generation”? Dear Governor Walz, how will we build and retain a common cultural identity if we allow the trend of erasing history? Our character is shaped by both our successes and failures; shouldn’t we remember both?
  6. To further the point, we see a crisis of justice. We have experienced and tasted the bitter fruits of George Floyd’s unnecessary death. We have seen a huge response of justice and righteous indignation expressed in peaceful protest. Yet we also saw protest boil over and result in approximately 1500 acts of property damage and violence committed against those who were not the cause of a botched detainment! For some race, class, and gender could be construed as causal in this context; but what happens if we dig past these political labels to the heart? Perhaps it is an internal dysfunction? When we experience deep pain we have a choice; insurrection or introspection. We can choose to hold onto an offense, yet that is precisely what bonds us to our offender. Some call this principle ‘trauma bonding’. Dear Governor, how will our people heal without the introspection learned by giving and receiving both the Grace and Truth; the forgiveness and the judgment of Christ?

So now it’s time for some pointed statements based on nine years of interceding through our State’s history, four months of my experience of a worship-less Minnesota, and nine weeks of mournful fasting. I truly don’t relish rebuking you or your council, but ask that You listen to the kindness and sternness of G-d. (You may not understand or believe in prophecy, but I will share what I’ve heard in prayer and nothing more. Please test it against the Scriptures and your life experiences. Judge for yourselves if I’m wrong about the principles of sowing and reaping judgment.)

Hear the message of the Lord:

“Governor Walz,

Whether You accept it or not, you are my masterpiece. You were created for this moment in history to guide the political state of Minnesota into good government. Part of this understanding is the humility to understand that all political authority is subject to the Authority of Heaven.

I have these offenses against you:

You have judged that you are the arbiter of your citizens’ health, and have stolen their rights and responsibilities for their own health.

You have judged that “Worship is not essential” to Minnesota, and still withhold the freedoms of religion and the practice of faith from my people!

You have both withheld freedom from the people of Minnesota, and added to their burdens.

Governor Tim Walz, and the Minnesota Executive Council, I will now spiritually judge you and the Minnesota Executive Council precisely in the areas of your judgements. I, too, will govern your healthcare choices. I will withhold from you what you deem worthy of value, and goals you find praiseworthy; that which you worship. Humble yourselves! Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good. May You experience my Grace and Truth as you practice these principles of good self-government. Judgment is a windmill. Return to me and I will return to you.”

The Lord, Jesus Christ, Messiah and King of the Universe

In sum, Honorable Governor Walz, we love you, pray for your success, and need you to survive. The Peacetime Emergency powers are crushing our humanity, and extinguishing the light of our heritage of faith and generosity of spirit in Minnesota. Will you lift this burden off of us so we can worship, think for ourselves, and thrive?

Just another man who loves Minnesota, James D. Orvis

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NIV

*https://www.axios.com/congressional-physician-predicts-75-150-million-us-coronavirus-cases-fec69e77-1515-4fbc-8340-c53b65c22c53.html

**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Minnesota

***https://mn.gov/governor/assets/EO%2020-78%20Final_tcm1055-440367.pdf

****https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_Wearing

*****https://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/6-6.htm

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21st Century, authority, ekklesia, Uncategorized

On Earth as it is in Heaven

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“Coronation Mantle”, Steven Zucker, flickr.com

Sunday July 12, 2020

For most of my adult life, I’ve been perplexed or even confused by a single line in the Lord’s Prayer *  found in either Matthew 6:9-13 or in Luke 11:2-4. To put this thought in context, below is Matthew’s version quoting the words of Christ our Messiah.

“This then is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ “ Matthew 6:9-13 NIV **

What did the Lord mean when He said, “on earth as it is in heaven” ?

This question was burning inside of me when I began my fast on May 11th, 2020 in response to the local and international halting of corporate worship over the Covid 19 virus. (For those unfamiliar with the term, by ‘corporate worship’ I mean being physically present together to: sing, pray, receive Communion, speak with each other and the Lord, hear from each other and the Word, kneel, sit, stand, raise hands, give offerings and tithes, and practicing other forms of showing Our Father that He is worthy of praise and adoration.) I wondered to myself and the Lord, “If worship is disrupted on earth, in many places for the first time in over 1,000 years, does this mean that worship stopped in heaven too?”

Many answers came to me by reading and re-reading two of my all-time favorite books on prayer. The first is “Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting” *** by Derek Prince, and the second is”Ekklesia Rising” **** by Dean Briggs. For me, it’s as if the silver pen of the Holy Spirit fell from heaven into the hands of these brothers, and they started writing His hard fought revelatory lessons. Both books are the intersection of education and revelation, and are worthy of our attention!

In Mr. Prince’s book, the Lord speaks so clearly to us about Our Father’s heart for government and leadership. In the third chapter, “Praying for our Government” he starts with Scripture and ends with an unassailable statement of logic. 

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we made lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior: who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:1-4 Phillips

He contends that one of the most basic functions of any meeting of believers’ is to pray and express gratitude for our government and those in leadership because it is a clear mandate from the Bible. Yet the Body of Christ rarely practices this primary function?!Allow me a quote from Mr. Prince, “Not merely do they not pray for the government “first”, they scarcely pray for it at all!” p.49

Let’s fast forward to how he summarizes the mandate of I Timothy 2:1-4 as only a philosopher of Eton and Cambridge can?

“1. The first ministry and outreach of believers as we meet together in regular fellowship is prayer.

2. The first specific topic for prayer is the government.

3. We are to pray for good government.

4. God desires all men to have the truth of the Gospel preached to them.

5. Good government facilitates the preaching of the Gospel, while bad government hinders it.

6. Therefore, good government is the will of God.” Shaping History p.53

Let’s hold that thought while I tie it to another “big idea” from the book “Ekklesia Rising” by Mr. Briggs?

Again, he starts with the Word and builds into a logical revelation from heaven. 

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Matthew 16:18 NIV *****

Though this is one of the most familiar passages of the Bible, Briggs points out that the word Christ used is “ekklesia” and not “kyriakon”. Why does this discrepancy in the original Greek matter so much to Briggs? It’s because words mattered to Jesus; He said what He meant, and we should settle for no less!

So what is the magnitude of this difference? What is the distance between two words with completely different connotations and meanings? Let’s see for ourselves?

Kyriakon – a compound Greek word translated from; “Kyrios”- meaning the Lord “ and “oikas” meaning house, a building. “Kyriakon” literally means the Lord’s house.

Ekklesia – a compound Greek word: “Ek” ‘out of’ and “Klesis” ‘a calling’ or “called out, separated, holy.” p.107

Though this misinterpretation already shows a major difference in meaning between ‘the Lord’s house’, and ‘the called out, separated, and holy’ there’s much more depth when Mr. Briggs zooms in on the meaning of ‘ekklesia’. A few fast facts below:

  • Ekklesia is used 115 times in the New Testament, misinterpreted 112 times as “church” and interpreted, in part, correctly 3 times as “assembly”. p. 108
  • Quoting Oskar Seyfert’s “Dictionary of Classical Antiquities”, “ekklesia was originally used to describe the assembly of the people, which in Greek cities had the final decisions in public affairs.” p.109
  • The idea of the ekklesia would already have been familiar to the Hebrew mind and the Disciples. Deuteronomy 9:10 and 18:16 used the word ‘qahal’ meaning “the day of the assembly”. p.109
  • Quoting William Barclay “New Testament Words”.

“The Septuagint…translates the Hebrew word qahal, which again comes from a root which means ‘to summon’. It is regularly used for the “assembly’ or ‘congregation’ of Israel…In the Hebrew sense it, therefore, means God’s people, called together by God, in order to listen or act for God.” For this reason, Barclay observes, “In a certain sense the word ‘congregation’ loses a certain amount of the essential meaning” because qahal  and ekklesia are both, clearly, summoned together for a purpose, rather than merely “assembling because they have chosen to come together.” Pp.109-110

Mr. Briggs wraps the chapter saying, “the ekklesia was by definition a governmental assembly”. What does Matthew 16:18 sound like with this new information?

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my ekklesia, my ‘called out, holy ones, who are summoned together by my Spirit to govern, listen and act for me, to enact, spiritually, my dominion over the authorities of earth…

and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

All this to say that when we agree in prayer with even one other person, we are authorized by the ruling council of heaven to make changes on earth. The Enemy doesn’t get to “steal, kill, and destroy” anymore without pushback. The political powers of earth must bend the knee to the will of heaven. Those that create false narratives for profit or power must redact their falsehoods before the King of the Universe, or be windmilled by their own judgments and misbeliefs. 

We have an action plan. We have unbreakable hope. We get to invite the place where everything works into the dysfunction of our nation or neighborhood; our family or tribe because we are summoned to do so by G-d. We get to be the “deciders” and the “inviters” of His will; “on earth as it is in heaven”! 

** https://www.biblehub.com/matthew/6-9.htm

*** Prince, Derek. “Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting”. Old Tappan, N.J., F.H. Revell 1973.

**** Briggs, Dean. “Ekklesia Rising the Authority of Christ in Communities of Contending Prayer”. Kansas City, MO.,Champion Press. 2014.

***** https://biblehub.com/matthew/16-18.htm

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