January 2012: Firsts – An Upsidedown Bucket List

“PIE-vah!” or “Hello!” from the home of Angry Birds, mobile phones, wintry-dips-in-icy-lakes . . . and lots of kind and warm people who call themselves Finns.

 is brought to you by the folks at YWAM Associates International, and is written and designed for your strengthening, encouragement and comfort; and we hope, for your pleasure.

Firsts . . . An Upside Down Bucket List

Perhaps you saw the movie The Bucket List, a story about two dying men who made a list of all the ‘last’ things they still wanted to do in life—but had never done.

In real life there are many ‘firsts’ – first born, first burp, first smile, first tooth, first birthday, first step, first day at school, first communion, first date, first love, first kiss, first job, first night, first anniversary, first child (Donna & I got child first and then anniversary! Our first daughter Laurie made her appearance 11 months after we were married!)

After that comes first grandchild; and on and on it goes.

But there’s a ‘first’ that relatively few people get to savor – or should I say, get to sweat through. I speak of my ‘First Solo,’ an accomplishment that I consider to be one of the great events of my life; it was confidence mixed with pure fear! Every pilot who ever soloed, remembers every single detail of that first time alone in the air, unchained and free—yet riding a wild machine that has to be tamed and brought back safely to the runway.

It’s like it was yesterday. I’ll never forget those 15 glorious minutes of my First Solo; every fiber in me was straining to accomplish alone, what the many hours of training with an instructor had been leading up to. At last I had broken free of the earth all by myself! And for a short time, I could escape the critical evaluation of my ‘pitiful’ airmanship by my hard-to-please instructor.

Yet I knew full well—though he would never admit it—that from the ground, my instructor’s eyes nervously followed me for all of that short flight, willing me not to crash and burn, mostly I think, because it would have been a black mark on his record!

Here’s another of life’s firsts; when we first come to Christ, we need an ‘instructor,’ a mentor; someone to disciple us, someone to whom we can become voluntarily accountable and with whom we can learn and grow in our new faith. I never had that person, mostly because I didn’t want one.

Right after coming to faith I went solo, minus an instructor. I crashed and burned. I was just 12 years old and I have to say that my motive for deciding to follow Jesus had been mostly hell insurance. Hell was no place I wanted to go.

When I say that I crashed and burned, what I really mean is that my ‘spiritual’ life crashed on take-off. I didn’t grow, I didn’t learn, I didn’t care. I was a spiritual stillbirth. I was an island unto myself with no accountability built into my life. I thought all that mattered was that I was safe for eternity.

It took me another 29 years to learn that I needed others speaking into my life, that I needed to grow spiritually and that I couldn’t go through life solo.

But that’s another story.**




That story—and others—may be found in my book “The Last Thing I’d Ever Do”; click on the small photo of the book to order.

Your potential is in God’s will, and God’s will is your potential

Addictions are hunger . . . without God

I’m just a beggar giving alms

Don’t judge others according to your value system
(the way you do things)

“Wherever you are, be all there”
Jim Elliot, Missionary Martyr (Jim was Donna’s cousin)

The beginning of all sin is to believe that God
does not love us and want the best for us

The world tends to view the church as an
island of irrelevance in a sea of despair

Leadership is not doing what you want to do,
but protecting what God wants to do 

Donna’s Corner

Keys to the Kingdom

My Dear Ohana (Hawaiian for ‘Extended Family’),

As we begin 2012 let’s pray the way that Jesus asked us to pray (Matt 6:5-15). In the quietness of your own room—or anywhere else—speak it out from your heart.

We’ll be speaking to our Father who is in heaven. We no longer want His name mocked. Our heart’s desire is to see HIS Kingdom come and HIS will done here on earth.

The Kingdom of God has been forcefully advancing and forceful men are taking hold of it (Matt 11:12).

We not only pray for His Kingdom to come, but if you are truly born again of the Spirit, you are part of the Kingdom and His Kingdom is within you (Luke 17:20-21), so you must LISTEN to what the King is saying. His Kingdom is righteousness joy and peace in the Holy Spirit; it’s not a matter of talk, but of power.

The greatest threat to, or destroyer of, the Kingdom is ‘religion.’ Men will die for their religion, but we have a relationship with a heavenly Father; are we willing to die for Him.

We need daily bread from Him—not only physical bread, but bread for our spirits.

I sense that ‘the church’ is going to start coming more and more into alignment with His Kingdom in these coming years. Our King will put people into place not because of their giftings, but because he sees their hearts and they listen to, and rely on Him. He will use our giftings, but it’s out of intimacy with Him that comes true ministry.

Jesus said that we should seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and everything else will be given to us (Matt 6:25-34). We cannot put His Kingdom into a religious box. We need less religion and more LOVE.

As you move on into this New Year, don’t carry any offences from last year or even earlier. The Christian life is walking in forgiveness. That is the power of the cross. The sheep will grow closer to the shepherd, but the goats will butt heads and eat garbage.

You too will see the difference between the sheep and the goats in a clearer way. The goats will want position and recognition, and they will argue with each other; but the sheep will want to stay close to the shepherd so they can be fed, and rest in His presence. They will LISTEN to their shepherd’s voice and He will lead them and guide them (John 10:27-30).

Jesus is the King of this Kingdom of God and He will put people into place. He will get all the glory; man will not.

We are living in amazing days, and everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and that which is not of God is coming down.

Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, because our God is a consuming fire. (Heb 12:28-29)

Love and Blessings, 


Renewal Camps & Gatherings

STOP THE PRESS! HURRY! Kona Gathering now open to all!

Feb 26-Mar 3: Kona, Hawaii

MedGathering with speaker Dr Don Tredway: The Holy Spirit. For MedGathering registeration details click here

April 28 Northern Ireland: Rostrevor, YWAM An Cuan, Northern Ireland. Come for the day—or the weekend. click here for details

June 7-10 GERMANY: with Donna Jordan – ‘Listening to God’ (Long weekend) To contact Dani click here

July 23-28 NORWAY: Skjærgårdsheimen (English & Norwegian). Click here for more information

Aug 5-11 FRANCE: Le Gault la Forêt with Mariette Louw (English & French) Click for information  

Aug 19-25 SWITZERLAND: Châtel 19 – 25 (English & French) Click here for more information 

And Finally . . . a prescription for all

Live & Give by listening to God 

Till next time,



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