God is still in control

God really is in control even during terrible circumstances.

Let me start by offering our sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones, or have been impacted in anyway by the terrible event that took place on 12-05-2007 at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska. I wish that we could wrap our arms around you and take away all the pain, but I cannot. The only one who can do that is Jesus. He loves you, He loves your family, and He loves those who were injured or deceased in the shooting.  Amazingly enough, He also loves that poor hurting individual who committed this terrible crime. 

It is His desire that none would perish, but all would come to the knowledge that by Jesus only can a man be saved. I cannot begin to know the degree of pain that you are feeling right now over this terrible act, but I know someone who knows your every thought, and He knows the number of hairs on your head and He knows to the second how long you will spend on this earth, and it is His deepest desire that you would spend eternity with Him.

I would like to humbly submit my thoughts over the past several days to you in writing. It is my desire that this letter will bring some form of comfort or closure for someone who happens to stumble by this page. I am also writing this to share what I know the Lord showed me thru this situation. It may be old information to some of you, but hopefully a ray of light to some.

Everything I will share with you lines up first with the Word of God, and secondly with the nature of God.

Yesterday morning, I woke up very disturbed in the Spirit. I had a very short vision which I know came from the Lord. He was clearly trying to show me something. My problem is most of the time I have my ears (my Spiritual ears) full of wax. Here is what happened:

I woke up and jumped into the shower to get ready for work. The first thing that happened was that I immediately began praying for my family. I never got the peace that this day would be un-eventful. I jumped out of the shower and into my car to head to work. The Lord pulled me into prayer again. When I thought I was done praying for my family, the Lord allowed me to see a sequence of events. Here is what He showed me. 

I saw myself on the phone with my wife, and I was talking to her. She was at the mall, and I was saying over the phone to her and telling her to “get out of there and go straight home” I did not understand this, but I knew that President Bush was in Nebraska today, and felt that it must have had something to do with him… I immediately prayed for my wife and children, then for President Bush for protection and all… But the Lord IMMEDIATELY pulled me back into prayer for my wife and son Benjamin. I got to work and called my wife and asked her how she was feeling, and how Ben was feeling. She said fine, but I still had no release to stop praying. Around 11:00 or so Gayle and I talked and made plans to meet for lunch. She wanted to eat at the mall, and I love the teryaki chicken, so that was fine with me. I met her there around 12:00 and we ate lunch.. When it was time for me to go back to work, I just did not have peace about leaving my wife and son in the mall.. I started walking away, and then turned and went back to them and hugged them and prayed for them, pleading the blood of Jesus on both of them. STILL NO PEACE! I now was late to get back to work and had to leave. I told Gayle many times during the day that I was praying for her and Ben and that I just did not have peace about this day. I jumped in my car to go back to work. Called Gayle again at 1:00, and again at 1:30. I am sure she was beginning to get annoyed with me, but I could not get the earlier thing out of my Spirit. I told her that I just didn’t feel good about them being out on this day. Gayle packed Ben up and they left the mall at around 1:35 or so. The shooting started at 1:42. She was going to go to Von Maur to look for something for our daughter, and would have been on the 3’rd floor in the little girl’s section. It is clear that Jesus intervened.  This brings up some sobering questions..

Why did Jesus not stop this event from happening ?
I believe he tried to, but no-one (including me) was fully tuned in to His frequency. We may have heard bits and pieces, but the business of the day prevented full disclosure, and our own thinking also got in the way. It certainly was not His desire that this terrible thing would happen, but people ALWAYS have a free will. When you have demonic forces working in a life (such as were at work in this young individual) the devil’s plans will always seem to succeed. I say “seem to succeed” because in every situation (including this one), God will have the last word. He will get glory out of even this terrible situation. I don’t in my mind know how a situation like this could ever give God glory, but I know that God is in control, and every terrible situation I have ever seen there was always a mighty move of God that followed and many lives were impacted. God certainly did not want this to happen, but He always takes our messes and shows us His plan to heal and restore.
I believe that God is constantly trying to talk to us and to gain our full attention. We get busy hammering out a living, growing our children and careers, just so many things competing for our “hearing”. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman, He is always right, and always trying to lead us into all truth and righteousness, but He will never impose His will above ours. He leads us by His “still small voice”, not a raging loud verbal voice (at least I have never heard Him verbally), but a very gentle leading in our Spirit. Anytime the Holy Spirit is speaking to me, He will always show His plan of escape for any given situation. Most of the time, He will be speaking to us about us, and trying to gently pull us back into line with the Word of God.
The bible tells us in the 23rd Psalm “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”, have you ever really thought about this? What I believe this means is that “WHEN the Lord is our shepherd, when He is “Lord”, His sheep will hear His voice (Jn. 10:2-4)… When we hear His voice, and follow His leading, we will want for nothing because where He leads, it is good. When we follow His leading, we are always in the place where He wants us. His plans for us are ALWAYS good (Jeremiah 29:11), therefore if His plans for us are good, why would He lead us into destruction? 
Some could say “then what were His plans for those innocent people who died? Well, His plans for them were good also, the problem is (and I want to VERY gently say this) is that not everyone is hearing (or recognizing) the voice of God, and when He tries to lead or re-direct our path, we do not necessarily know it was God making the suggestion, so we ignore the “leading”. This can be fatal. How many people didn’t show up to work on the day of 9-11 at the WTC? Many of them did not know why, but they just didn’t feel like going to work that day.. Didn’t feel, or were led not to? (But as many as are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God).. My sheep hear my voice, and another they will NOT follow.. 
The bible tells us that “My people perish for lack of knowledge”, the fact is that if you were driving down a road on a dark stormy night at 55 miles per hour, and the Holy Spirit suddenly spoke “slow down to 3 miles per hour” what would you do? I have heard similar things while driving only to turn a bend in the road and see a deer in the middle of the road that I would not have seen until it was too late had I not slowed down. Was this coincidence, or the leading of the Holy Spirit? All I know is when I follow His leading, things work, when I don’t listen, I always find myself in trouble.  
One of the reports of the Mall shooting stated that Robert Hawkins had first entered the mall, then left, then a few minutes later came back in and started shooting people. Do you think for one minute that God was not trying to stop him? The problem is that he was certainly listening to “a” voice, but not the voice of God.
The fact is that any voice that we listen to has 1 of 3 sources, it is either the voice of God, the voice of the devil, or our thoughts and desires speaking to us. I can tell you without hesitation that there is 1 voice that will never mislead us. I can also tell you that the voice of God is very easy to distinguish from all other voices that will try to speak to you. 
The bible tells us to “try the spirits whether they be of God” (1Jn 4:1).
Ok, how do we try (or test) the spirits?
Dear brother or sister, it is really easier than you may think.

I hear so much buzz about “hearing the voice of God”, like we have some special club and there are those that “do” and those that “don’t”. The fact is that if you are a child of God, you will hear the voice of God. Many years ago the Lord spoke something to me that completely changed the way I felt about hearing His voice. It is SO SO SO simple that if you can get this into your spirit, it will change the way you hear the voice of God. It is not that I have any “new” revelation, but just one piece of knowledge that may help some. The Lord spoke to me the following one day many years ago when I was questioning Him about hearing His voice. He said “It is not your job to hear my voice, it is my job to do the speaking”. He then explained to me that if I were in a room face to face with someone and they were talking to me I would hear them. It would take no effort on my part to hear someone speaking to me, or on the phone with someone;  again, no effort on my part. Just put the phone to my ear and let the other person speak. We constantly have thoughts running thru our minds, God establishes some of those thoughts, the devil tries to establish some of them, and some are established by us. 

The part that we are responsible for is very simple:
1: First and foremost you must be in the Word of God.
2: Secondly, you must be praying. (preferably in the Spirit)
3: We have to learn to be quiet when God is talking to us.
Imagine you are on the phone with someone, but everytime you try to speak, they begin talking over you. This is the frustration that God feels when He is trying to speak to us. He is trying to instruct us, and we talk over him. 

I will be posting a teaching on “hearing” in the near future. For now I will close this letter until the Lord gives me more understanding.

I would like to dedicate this page first and foremost to Jesus, and secondly to those who suffered great loss. I believe that stories of heroic actions will begin to surface, and the true nature of these dear people will be revealed over the next several days as information and events unfold in the media before us.