Monday, July 11, 2011

Update from Duke

Greetings from the promise land in Springfield, Ohio. This is D-love Duke reporting. So much change and transition has been going on that it is difficult to put into words. After a year of enduring a lot of culture shock, hardship (as a good soldier) and great transition, we find ourselves set in a place of great favor over the city. The kingdom of God is at hand; the Spirit of God is moving; revival is here! Not one person will be left untouched by His presence; His too good to be true love is burning eyes open and changing lives forever.

This Saturday July 16th at 2pm, right in the heart of the city on the streets,strategic Leaders and Pastors from Springfield will lay hands on me, officially ordaining and commissioning me to work the Lord has sent us here to do. Afterwards we will gather for a time of public worship, reading of the word and faith declarations and prophetic proclamations for the city. Since unity is already a reality in Christ, we will stand as one man, with one heart in agreement and harmony with heaven; Your kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. "It is finished" And from this place of victory in union with Christ, we simply receive what is already ours--from the God of all grace; the river is flowing--grace for grace; glory to glory. I appreciate your prayers leading up to and during this time on Saturday.

Pictures and more info. will follow after this event.

Also, I will be visiting Washington State from July 21st to August 4th. I will be in Poulsbo, Port Townsend, and Whidbey Island; and possible eastern Washington as well. Much to share; much to report on. I would love to see as many of you as possible. Let me know if it works for you.

Your fellow brother and servant of Jesus Christ Duke

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

I don't always know how to describe my Dad to someone. There's nothing to compare him to. He's himself, and he's not like anyone else. As I've gotten older, I've gained a deep appreciation for that. He's a single minded man. He's not afraid to be messy: to be flawed and broken and open before God and everyone else. It makes other people uncomfortable a lot. Seeing someone who's completely out there, who's walking in the full light of God, is always uncomfortable for people who aren't. It's inspiring to me. I want to be like that. I don't want to let fear rule me. I want to be courageous enough to walk in the light all the way, and to realize that the tares and the messiness are part of that. It's beautiful to me and I admire my Dad for it. He's endured a lot of censure, criticism and rejection as a result of his willingness to be himself, no matter where he is.

He's never been too proud to admit mistakes, even to his kids. As a Papa, he's tried so hard to make sure that we always know how much he loves us. His heart is for us, and he's always behind us. Everything he is and everything about his life he's given over to God. He's laid down a lot, and has had to make very difficult decisions to walk the path God has called him to walk. It's a pretty radical example. And you know, he's not just my Papa. He's been a Papa to so many people, spiritually and emotionally. He's filled that empty space in a lot of lives; he's championed, and encouraged, and sought out the best in people who desperately needed a Papa to do it for them. My Dad may not be recognized in "legitimate" religious circles, but the impact he's had on so many individuals means a lot more to me, and I think means more to God. He may not ever be a Bill Johnson, or a Rick Joiner, and his name may never be in the history books on Earth, but I believe with absolute certainty that he is in the history books of heaven. He's going to be one of the ones that surprise you there, one of the ones that God honors. He's not perfect; he's a flawed man. But he wholeheartedly belongs to the Lord, and every intent of his heart is for Him.

I want to honor my Dad. He's been through a lot this year, and he's been tempered and refined through it, but he's also been worn and stretched. I'm so unbelieveably proud of him. I don't even have words. He's a grown man with six children (half of whom are adults) and he is still willing to grow, and humble enough to change. I wish I was more like him. I want more people to be able to see him as God sees him: to see how precious and rare he is, and how much of a blessing and treasure. My Papa is special, and I am so lucky to have him.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Update from Jesse

As of May 5th we have been in Springfield, Ohio for one whole year. Crazy how quickly time passes. It feels like only yesterday that we first rolled into Springfield, at the time nothing like I'd imagined it. Now that I've come to know the place, it feels, in some ways, like home. In other ways, it still feels foreign. At times I even catch myself thinking as if I could hop into the car and head over to a friend's house, a friend from Washington, or go to Port Townsend and spend some time at a familiar haunt. Then I remember that it would take an airplane to achieve this. Which is doable, obviously. Micah, Leah and my mom have already visited. Someday I hope to as well.

After the passage of a year it feels sometimes like nothing much has happened. But then I look back and realize that, yes, a lot has happened. A lot of change has taken place: within us personally and also externally. Our music, for instance, has bloomed considerably. In Washington Micah and I played out rarely and then only in fifteen minute slots at open mics where our main audience were musicians waiting for their turn. Now we regularly play two hour shows where we are the main attraction. Quite a difference. Also, we have written numerous songs since moving here. I've written twenty-two. Micah's written at least six. And our style has changed considerably, Micah exchanging lead guitar for banjo and mandolin and Stephen most often playing djembe instead of the drum set.

Our songwriting has grown, as well as our audience. On May 5th, the exact one year anniversary of our move, we had the opportunity to play in front of many leaders of the church and community at the National Day of Prayer Breakfast. And on June 24th we will be opening for a popular Christian artist named Jason Gray. So, doors continue to open. In the meantime, we are hoping to record a new album this summer. Prayers are appreciated on that point.

Besides the music, there is personal growth. I think it's safe to say that all of us have grown in love and humility as the Lord continues to tear down and uproot the vines of fear and pride that have so long grown within us. Freedom is a process, however, and this one is yet to reach its climax. I myself am only scratching at the surface of the root system of fear that has for so long been a foundation in my life. A foundation that I am ready and willing to see replaced. Perfect love, after all, casts fear and there is no place for fear in the Kingdom. So, I am optimistic. Patterns of thinking are slowly coming undone. Pride and prejudice are losing their hold, as fear is revealed within me, and I am eager to move forward with the Lord.

We are all still discovering our place in this city. More and more connections are being made, especially for my dad. But for all of us, really. A couple of weeks ago Micah and I were able to go out on the streets with our new friends Tyler, Chris and J.J. We went to one of the areas with the highest crime in Springfield, a place full of prostitutes and drug addicts. You know, the kind of people Jesus would hang out with. It is too easy within the church to allow ourselves to build up walls of fear against these kinds of people. Too easy to grow comfortable within our boxes and never touch the dark places of the world. In going out that night, I realized again that these people are simply people. Broken, hurting people crying out for God. And we were able to meet them there and share, for a few hours, the love of the Father. I look forward to more of this in the weeks and months to come.

(Stephen and Tyler [not the Tyler who went out on the streets])

(Chloe and Stephen with Allyson)

Leah, Stephen and, more specifically, Chloe have gotten the opportunity of a lifetime with our new friend Hayden. Hayden is a professional horse trainer who was hired to train horses for an old man who has about fifty horses. The Lord put it on his heart to ask Chloe to help him with the task while also training her not only how to ride but also how to train horses herself. Leah and Stephen joined in to help and now even Ethan started getting lessons. They are all having a great time and Hayden has quickly become an unofficial member of the family.

(Hayden is the one in the middle.)

I think that is all for now. There is more to say, more to share, but I think I'll let my dad do it. For now, know that I love you and am thankful for you more than you know. Alone, after all, I am nothing. It is only with my brothers and sisters that I can be something to this world. Blessings and joy!

- Jesse

(Ethan's new rat V.J. aka Varo Judah)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Update from Duke

Hi! This is D-love Duke reporting from the promise land in Springfield Ohio. It blows me away that the same love our Father has for Jesus and the same love that Jesus has for the Father is ours to share. That this God of all grace, by His doing picked us up and placed us at His banqueting table to feast and drink of His love. For as He is so are we in this world; check out the context in First John. Amazing Love.

Your prayers, support and friendship are so vital especially during this great season of change and transition. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I present an appeal to you all. Jesse, Micah and Stephen in their band "Like A Child" are going for it. This is it. It is amazing to see the growth and evolution of their music; Yet not just in their music but in their individual gifts and callings; specific to each one. More and more opportunities are opening for them; to play, perform and minister in the world in the public eye.
This friday they are playing at Un Mundo, one of the few coffee shops in the area; they will be playing from 7pm to 9pm. They will be playing in bars and saloons. They will be playing in other towns as well. They need your backing and support; especially in prayer. They also are planning to produce another CD as soon as the money is available. Their music, their ministry and their divine originality is a treasure and gift to not only the Body of Christ but the world.
Part of my appeal is that you would prayerfully consider supporting them financially or invest in this new recording project. Your prayer and partnership is awesome.

Personally, the Lord is developing and placing me in relationship with two men, who happen to be pillars in the area. It is crazy because we are so different from one another, in gifts, callings and background. I remember when i was in 8th grade, I dislocated and broke my leg playing football. The break and dislocation was so bad that I had to wait 3 days for a specialist to show up. Then they put me out then as team they put me back together. My thoughts are that in these developing relationships It is going to require the specialist work of the Holy Spirit to assemble, join and fit us together. Please agree with me that the Lord will define and establish these relationships in harmony with His plan and purposes. Your agreement is powerful.

Remember, you are loved and treasured of the Father. With all sincerity your brother in Jesus,
D-love Duke

P.S. I might be coming up to the NW by myself to visit many of you. Appreciate your prayers on this.

Address: 1555 S. Limestone Street
Springfield, Ohio 45505

Phone: 360-643-0826

Monday, February 14, 2011

Creative Miracle Testimony

Hey so a few weeks back God healed my toe and I posted it to you guys. Well now he blows me away even more and gave me a creative miracle.

My friend Stephen called me from Bethel last night. He's going to BSSM (Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry). He was telling me how the Spirit was being poured out big time at that night's meeting. He then told me that he had been flat footed his whole life and Kevin Dedmon got a word about arches forming. He got prayed for and arches formed. What he didn't know is that I was flat footed too. I told him and he began to pray for me. I felt fire and tingling on my feet. My brother put his hands on my feet and I literally saw arches form before my eyes! I stood up and I felt way different. I even felt something in my back pop. I felt more balanced, like my weight was being distributed more evenly. Literally 10 minutes before he called I was praying for signs and wonders. That I would see signs and wonders. So Jesus answered what I asked for, just not in the way I was thinking. I was asking for other people and he does it for me. Haha.

It really made me wonder! He really is a good God. Being on the receiving end of His healing and miracles is really blowing me away! He's blessing me big time. Yahoo! King Jesus is good! Again testimony is the spirit of prophesy. If you need a creative miracle in your body just receive it. Right now just release your manifest presence and glory in the room King Jesus! Your presence is the treasure. When the King shows up, the kingdom stuff shows up. Just turn your affections to Him right now. There is no formula. But if you wanna close your eyes, hold out your hands. Just receive. I declare healing to their bodies! Creative miracles right now! Right now! Thank you Jesus. Someone's eyes are being healed! Take it! Someone's back is being healed! Take it! Someone's knees! Take it! I see some scar tissue dissolving in someone's body. Like it's located in your bones. Like a build up of cartilage looking stuff in your back. I'm not a doctor so I don't know what that is. But just take it!



Saturday, February 5, 2011

Update from Duke

Greetings from the promised land of Springfield, Ohio. This is D-love Duke reporting. You heroic child bearing women, I salute you! Transition! Transition! Transition! Oh the pain! Oh the joy! Breathe--hee, hee, hee. Yes, yes! No! No! Give me an epidural! Beam me up Scotty! Well you get the idea. Major change and transition at hand, as the Lord is transforming us both in heart and thinking. Like the cicada or the butterfly the shedding of the old skin of yesterdays light is wrenching. Yet our God of all grace is faithful to His work in us and through us to make us like Himself. I'll get back to this change stuff in a moment...

A couple months ago, Maureen and I were awakened to a 1 or 2 a.m. semi-automatic gun fire, approximately 12 rounds, followed by sirens. Last week 2 blocks away an armed robber gunned down by police. We certainly aren't in Chimacum Dorothy!Yet the Kingdom of God is Here! And this place will never be the same.

The last two months of 2010 were so frustrating. What the heck are we doing? Why are we here? Feeling so lonely, isolated and disconnected. Frustrated with the church system; frustrated with people etc. We found ourselves in the familiar territory of desperation and need."Lord, I give up--clue us in that your plans and purposes would prevail." Maureen and I found ourselves coming together in agreement with simple prayers.. The answers are coming and as Micah wrote in a recent song, "hope is dancing on the horizon!" and we are rising to dance with it.

Back to the change stuff; It cuts into the depths of who I am--mind sets of thinking--old security blankets and giving up my special binky, a comforting and familiar friend. Can you you teach an old dog new tricks Lord? Only You know.
Well here it is:

I was walking the trails in the woods near Crabill Homestead, and I heard the Holy Spirit say, "There is no place for pride in My Kingdom". I responded with, "yes, Lord get em; deal with em etc," Hello, Mcfly are you in there? Knock, knock! "I'm talking to you Duke!" I am against you in your pride, but I give grace to the humble. I have been caught! I have been found out! the problem is in me. Oh the wretchedness, oh the highmindedness ; the blindness of it all. I have realized the main source of this frustration is simply an expression of pride and crossing a line into criticism and mental judgement. I have such a prophet/justice perspective that left unchecked, gets me in a whole lot of trouble. What is the source of this pride? How did I get it? Knowledge puffs up--and the knowledge, I'm talking about is not just information, but as divine originals we all have a history, a unique path of experience and revelation in relationship with the Lord. These God ordained valid and vital experiences are the tools and ways He shapes and conforms us to the image of Jesus. And only the Master Potter knows the perfect process and path for each of us. In my own life this path and process has developed mind sets and a world view that is limited in light to the divine original I am. Yet the problem arrises when I superimpose through the filters of thinking my path and process on others--the way I have walked is really the more spiritual way. What ignorance, arrogance and small limited thinking on my part.

We all have different gifts, callings and unique expressions in and from the Lord. My calling is the most important; my gifts and expressions are the most vital. The eye! No, the ear! No, the hand! No, I say, no, the feet! I am guilty of thinking that my gifts and calling are the most important. How desperately I need grace to think with sober judgement, be me without trying to control you. There is one calling that none of us can escape--the call to love. We are commanded to live a life of love. Be imitators of God as dearly beloved children and live a life of love. The goal of this instruction is love... Above all else put on love and love one another. God is love and His love fulfills all the Law and Prophets. Love, His love is the very expression of His kingdom... for God so loved..that He gave... His love to us, in us and through us is other worldly, supernatural and humanly impossible apart from His life in us. In light of the love list in I cor. 13 my own lack and wretchedness has been exposed. Love is patient; love is kind,...... Love keeps no record of wrongs... etc. Yet I have blindly walked in spiritual McCarthyism with my little black book filled with suspicion and speculation, an I'm right your wrong mentality. I forget that mercy triumphs over judgement and love covers a multitude of sin. Love is forbearing--it puts up with one another.

Thanks for putting up with me. I'll share more later.

Thanks to all who are partnering with us on this great adventure.

Love Bro Duke

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Healing Testimony


I broke my toe and for the last 5 days or so I've been hobbling along with crutches. Even the slightest bump on my toe would bring terrible pain. Earlier today Jesse just tapped it and it brought such bad pain I had to take 3 Ibuprofen. I've had it wrapped, iced, elevated. It's been green, and swollen.

My friend Anthony called me, he was sharing testimonies of encountering angels and how he found a gem. We did a little impartation to each other over the phone and then I asked Him to pray for my toe. (This whole time we're on the phone I have my foot wrapped and I'm standing with my crutches). He saw my dad laying his hands on my foot. So I took off my wrap and got off my crutches. My dad put his hand on my foot and Anthony said a simple prayer. My dad lifted his hand and suddenly we heard a pop. It wasn't painful, my foot just made that sound. And I was able to stand. I walked all throughout the house. Jumped. And all the pain was gone! I pulled on my toe that just hours early would hurt if it was just bumped. I wiggled it. My toe was healed!

If you're reading this and you need healing, you're getting it right now. Receive it! His presence is gonna fill the room you're in. If you want to, put your hand on your body and declare healing.