My background as a Teacher
For many years I have been involved with Presbyterian Renewal Ministries, International (charismatics of Reformed background). Beginning in 1990 I helped Dr. Brad Long, Director of PRMI, develop The Dunamis Project, a series of conferences to help ministry leaders learn to walk in the Holy Spirit and grow in prayer.
In recent years, The Dunamis Project has gone viral worldwide and has been translated into several languages. The growth of these conferences has produced a worldwide community, The Dunamis Fellowship International, to propagate these conferences on every continent.
The three books Brad and I wrote (available under “Resources” on this website) reflect Dunamis teaching. See also the PRMI website (www.prmi.org) for more information about this significant ministry, which we McMurrys continue to be involved in internationally.
The Need for Christian Unity
In more recent years, Carla and I have branched out well beyond the Presbyterian context, becoming leaders in city-wide prayer, which has required us to relate to Christians of every stripe and feather. In recent years we have taught in many kinds of churches because we believe God wants us Christians to learn to love one another despite our differences—even to appreciate and honor our differences.
God has also called me to research what He has done by His power in every age, not just our own. Many of our denominations were birthed in seasons of spiritual awakening, in which God wanted to reintroduce to His Bride some forgotten aspect of His eternal word. Most denominations were used originally to take some forgotten treasure and minister it back into the Body of Christ until it became normal equipment again. Most denominations harbor some treasure given by God, and none of us can say to that group “I have no need of you.” On the other side of the coin, none of us has it all, even when we think we do. So we McMurrys are comfortable mingling in all kinds of Christian circles.
Here at The Clearing, we have developed teaching beyond the original teaching of the Dunamis Project, which also continues as a main theme in our seminars and conferences. We try to offer each year a cycle of teaching which includes, during the course of the year, the following themes (see below). Here is a description of our cycle of teaching:
|Basic Teaching on Prayer and the Life in the Spirit|
1. The Life in the Spirit.
A vibrant Christian life does not depend on the doctrine we hold, as much as our willingness to open our lives to the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “When he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (Jn. 16:13). The apostle John wrote, “The anointing you received from him remains in you and you do not need anyone to teach you. But… his anointing teaches you about all things….” (1 Jn. 2:27).
The Holy Spirit is basic equipment for our journey through life; He is not someone to be feared; God gives no bad gifts.
This course/seminar follows the teaching of the Dunamis Project and the book, Receiving the Power, by Brad Long and myself.
2. The Power of Prayer.
Jesus did not die on the Cross only to save us for eternal life, though that would be enough! He died so that we could be brought near to the Father—to God. Jesus modeled out a lifestyle of prayer in a Father-Son relationship, and then He prayed that we would have just such a relationship (John 17).
The torn curtain in the temple broadcasts an invitation for all of us to approach God any time we want, because God gives us the power to become His children. Prayer is the ministry of Jesus to this day and the basis for His authority. And as with Jesus, the vibrancy of our prayer life is the key to staying in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit.
This course follows the teaching of the Dunamis Project, and the book, Prayer That Shapes the Future, by Brad Long and myself.
3. Praying for Spiritual Awakening.
Since we McMurrys are called to our present location to pray for spiritual awakening, this course/seminar is the center and goal of what we do. In this teaching, I draw upon the rich material of the “Glory Through Time” seminar to show the inevitable connection between intensive prayer and the great awakenings of the past. We look at the type and intensity of these prayer movements, and of what we call “kingdom prayer.”
We also use videos by George Otis, jr. and Darren Wilson to show what God is doing today around the world, to awaken nations and peoples to His power. These eye-opening stories can spur us on to believe God for our communities!
4. Spiritual Conflict.
Church programs are one thing. The kingdom of God is something else. When we become involved in significant kingdom-birthing prayer, we invariably run into spiritual opposition, as Martin Luther noticed 500 years ago. And as Jessie Penn-Lewis noticed a hundred years ago, most spiritual opposition takes the form of deception (strongholds) that cause us to believe what is contrary to the word of God. Secularism, for example, is the predominant form of spiritual opposition in western countries. (Secularism is a cloaking device, without which Nazism could never have gotten rooted in Germany.)
I use the book, The Collapse of the Brass Heaven, by Brad Long and myself, to expose the withering effect of secularism on the western Church. Then I show other aggressive enemy weapons and how faith in Christ is the victory that overcomes them all.
5. End-time Promise.
Today, countless signs and developments prophesied by Jesus in the Bible mark the completion of a spiritual age, the “times of the Gentiles.” At this point in world history, everything will change and Christ will step up His plan to make all things new. Therefore, “we labor not in vain.” Yes, there will be extraordinary labor pains at that time, but they will lead to a new birth that will be global and eternal. All things in heaven and on earth will be under one head—Jesus, and we will remember the pain no more.
Despite the goodness and awesomeness of these promises, they are some of the most neglected in the Bible. In this seminar we look at the history of the basic positions Christians have taken in regard to the end times, seeing value in each. My own position is “historic pre-millennialism.” I believe it is very important that Christians understand end time promise and gain confident faith as we move toward the end of this season of history.
|Glory Through Time|
For thirty years, God has given me a unique ministry of researching His mighty deeds, aimed to counteract the withering effect of secularism. Secular historians, even well-meaning Christians, have been busily tossing out all reference to the power of God in our past. It is as though God had never done anything at all! We see today a version of cessationism that has finally attacked even the veracity of the Bible itself.
God uses me to restore the missing part of our story—the God part. As I reveal this missing dimension to people today in my “Glory Through Time” teaching, I find that the seminar brings several benefits:
1. It shows God’s control of history all along, even when we are unaware of it. History is His Story, not ours. When we add the God part back into our collective memory, we see that most of the positive transformations of the past have been His doing; and we can see Him more easily in the world today.
2. It inspires us to latch on to the grace and power of God today, by holding up as examples those who did the same in other seasons of history. Their stories are truly inspiring! And it is not as though the Spirit-filled life began with our generation!
3. It shows clearly the lessons of trial and error, success and failure of past generations, so we do not have to learn every lesson the hard way. We can build on the experiences of others.
4. By tracing God’s 2000-year track record, we can see more clearly where we stand with Him today. It’s like a lost person climbing a tall tree to have a look around. It helps to see the Big Picture.
I recommend that you take these teachings one at a time, in order, to get a sense of the sweep of history, and to receive the word of God embedded in time. All of history belongs to God and contains lessons from God for us. (Please note: at the present time, all but three of these teachings have been uploaded. “19. Chinese Pentecost,” “20. Back to Jerusalem,” and “21. Concluding Thoughts and Recommended Reading” remain to be uploaded, by May of 2013.)