Back from Philadelphia
Mar 25, 2008
While in Philadelphia, I was unable to do any web logs or even to connect to the internet. The conference went very well, however, and we made it back safe and sound.
However, today I was reminded that we are still encountering some serious spiritual warfare that began on March 10. I suggest that you all check your spiritual armor to be able to withstand all the fiery darts that may come against you.
I had a telephone call this morning informing me that Robert Burgess died early this morning. He was in the African country of Togo preaching the Word and was apparently encountering some opposition from local witchdoctors. We are inquiring of the Lord to know His will in this regard.
Meanwhile, I have very little time today to do any work at the office, since I am preparing to conduct a memorial service tomorrow for my mother-in-law, who died just before we went to Philadelphia. I can say that she died peacefully and that was more than ready to go. Her only complaint was that she did not go sooner, as her body was simply wearing out at the age of 83. We are all happy for her, because we know that death is not the end of the story. Death has no sting for us.
Our three daughters are flying to Minneapolis today, and it will be nice to reunite our entire immediate family once again.
We have seen many important victories in this ongoing spiritual battle, but I feel that Robert is a casualty of war, and this ought not to have occurred. I do not know many details yet, but I thought I should let you know, since he was the main one organizing the Burning Bush Bible School, our online school.
In 1996, on the 8th day of Tabernacles, Robert died and was dead for 45 minutes. By the time he got to the hospital, they pronounced him dead and sent him to the morgue. His back was black where the blood had gravitated. But he had an interesting encounter with Jesus during that time, and was sent back to complete the things he was called to do. Jesus told him that he was being sent back because he had previously lacked the tools with which to complete his calling, so he was being given some extra time. He then returned to life, and they had to remove his toe tag and take him out of the morgue back to the hospital.
Other things have happened in the past two weeks to confirm that we are in spiritual warfare. These things have taken up much of my time and are the sort of things that normally happen in times of battle. Yet, ironically, we have found that whenever we take a hit, it is turned into a blessing.
This present warfare was not nearly so dramatic as Robert's story. On March 10, while we were in Arkansas, our house was burglarized and our car stolen from the garage. Again, it worked out for good, since the car was leased, and I had already put an extra 14,000 miles on it, which would have cost me $1,680.00 extra when I was to turn it in next July. Having it stolen actually saved me that money. Yet it has taken up some of my time that I could have otherwise spent in better ways.
Recall a couple of years ago when a tornado put a huge tree into our living room. It happened while we were in Denver for the Tabernacles conference. These things always seem to happen while we are out of town. This event took up a lot of our time and was inconvenient for many months, but it also meant that the insurance company paid for a new deck, a new roof, new carpeting, new furniture, and a new paint job. We had lacked the money to make those home improvements ourselves, so God provided for us through the insurance company, which paid for almost all of it.
Regardless of what happens in life, we continually learn how God's plan is perfect, and we certainly see continually how God works all things together for good (Rom. 8:28).
Dr. Stephen Jones