Tag Archives: calling

A Visit to Heaven

Laurie-Ann in the Billy Graham museum, Heaven Room, Wheaton, Illinois, June 1994

Right now at our Toronto church, we have been reading the Word on experiencing heaven, with an emphasis on Isaiah 6 (the prophet Isaiah’s commission) and the Apostle John’s experience in Revelation 4. John was considering his encounter with Jesus before he was invited to “come up here” further into his heavenly experience. After all, the Apostle Paul speaks of us being “seated in heavenly places” with Jesus (Eph. 2: 6-9 NIV). “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

I remember taking a Glory School in 2003 under Patricia King. She emphasized that a part of us is already in heaven. Our spirit is connected there already. We can pray and also worship from that perspective. We don’t have to be weighed down in our troubles. We encounter troubles, absolutely. However, we don’t have to be overwhelmed by them. Remember that the Apostle John was in a prison colony and wrote the Book of Revelation on the windswept island of Patmos. This was not a retreat, but the presence of Jesus, and empowerment by the Holy Spirit helped John to pen a very misunderstood part of the Bible. I won’t go into disputed details of the rapture, tribulations and all that. We know it’s a horrible time, but at the end Jesus wins. He is the one who has the lasting glory, not the adversary. Thank you Jesus, that in you we are the winners, we are victorious through you, no matter the troubles.

In 1991, I had a throne room heaven experience that was similar to Isaiah 6. I couldn’t understand it at the time, since I was a broken person then. Since then, I’ve had a lot of inner healing, and learned wisdom through experience in life and in the mission field. While I don’t aspire to be a famous prophet, I do have a prophetic gift. I am a seer, which is normally shown in some of my line drawings (which I later colour in). Here is one of my “heaven stories.” It came to me like a movie when I was half asleep in August, 2022.

“We were singing the last song of worship, which ended in a song where the first line of Crown him with many crowns was sung over and over, deeper and deeper. Then I was shown an image of many kinds of crowns in what looked like a gigantic auditorium.  The atmosphere was of many shades of blue in a spectrum.  The sea of glass was a deep ultramarine that vibrated with pulsing love and light. 

An angel strapped little drone jets on my feet and I was able to swivel up and around without touching the ground or the sea.  The jets had eyes and wings on them and I loved the mobility. 

I saw thousands upon thousands of lovers of Jesus surrendering their many crowns, tributes, medals, honours and gifts to Jesus.  They were grateful for the opportunity to give honour and praise to the one who gave them the grace, love and assignments that originally brought the Lord glory.  Even though the crowns filled the room, there was always room for more. 

Every time a crown came down, the Sea of Glass would say, “Yes! For your glory, Lord.” The glass would also flash and light up.  There were rainbows with extra green in them surrounding where Jesus sat, and Jesus smiled at everyone and into each face.  No matter where you were in the room, you could easily see Jesus’ face. Jesus’ hair was snowy white, but his face was unlined, and his eyes were burning with deep compassionate love. 

I felt like it was an honour to be in heaven even for a short time.  The atmosphere was electric with worship, honour, holiness and deep love.  I knew I was accepted and loved, so joy bubbled up in me as I was shown about the room in the company of angels.  I was handed a pen, and asked to draw and to write.  This would be two of the ways that adults and children could receive and turn to the Lord. 

Then another angel came to me and handed me a little tiara.  I was told that this was a sign of the anointing that I would need -and to not take it off.  I would be helped in writing deeper truths and also conveying them in drawing.  Both would begin to receive favour to reach many.  My previous drawings and writings have already touched many, but the reach will expand exponentially.  This is all because my heart has been prepared and ready.  There will be no pride, for we have learned to go “low and slow” with the Iris tribe and we will continue that way.  The way of honour is key. 

I looked to Jesus for confirmation, and he smiled and nodded with the word, “yes.  I still have many souls in you.  You will not be alone. You have Holy Spirit, and I assign angels to help in your assignment.  You are always loved. Do not forget, daughter.”

I have learned that sometimes the anointing doesn’t come as we expect. Quite often the prophetic drops on me and I enter a semi-trance, while I’m doing whatever. If I’m driving it comes as little impressions, superimposed over the windscreen. That was when I was shown that I would be teaching African children about art (which turned out to be one of my tasks while in a small Worcester school for two years in South Africa). Other times I would be studying scripture and the words would leap off the page, and I would get insight into the scripture that I would be reading to my husband. We do this daily, and Holy Spirit gives me insight even into well known scriptures. Things like realizing Jesus’ power and true authority, and keeping in deep obedience to him. Others like a highlight of the historical cultural context in the footnotes and I think on what that might have been like. How would have been if we were walking with the disciples and following Jesus not just by belief, but by actually walking behind him and watching everything he is doing? Learning by his side?

Other times I might be teaching in a larger context and I get the prophetic trance thing and see that God is highlighting someone in the crowd. This happened once when Tony and I were teaching the Alpha Course in Migori, Kenya back in 2005. Tony was asking me to minister to someone, and I intended to, but Holy Spirit interupted me. I saw this man, and Holy Spirit had me call him out. I prophesied over him that God wanted to use him to tell Kenyan village elders about Jesus with his special cultural way. He was to just connect with them, be in relationship, and share his heart for Jesus. I asked him if he would accept this assignment and say yes to Jesus. He did. Then I prayed over him and ended the prayer with something simple like, “I also pray over you health and strength to accomplish your task.” Apparently, unknown to me until a day or two later, this man, Stephen, was healed from a mystery disease that the local doctors could not help him with. He also had feeble legs. So he truly had health and strength to accomplish his task! I was overjoyed in seeing how God touched him.

I had other stories that happened in Pakistan (which I will share another time), in Sierra Leone, in Mozambique (where both Tony and I had dreams) and later in South Africa. In South Africa, I continued in prophetic seer stuff, especially in our calling there, and later impressions were depicted in drawing (when I could actually capture these images!). However, the anointing came on me differently while we were concentrating ministring to children, teens and inmates. It was more gentle, less intense. It was filled with kindness (remember God’s kindness leads to repentance!), and incredibly deep compassion. This compassion was so deep at times, that I felt like it was searing my heart! It was incredible. I still get like this at times, although I would love this to come as we minister to my frail 93 year old dad. That’s another story. We are going lower still in ministering to my dad, which is a tough assignment, since he still hasn’t accepted the Lord. There is nothing quite as stubborn as the human heart. Sigh. Anyway, if any of this resonates with you, I pray it blesses you.

Health Updates:  For those looking for news, Tony continues his immunotherapy infusions for mesothlioma at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.  He will have another CT scan in December to check how the tumour has responded to the immunotherapy (after seven treatments or so).  The last CT scan showed that the tumour had actually grown, not shrinked! Otherwise, he will continue for some time. He had his sixth infusion just last week. If the tumour does not shrink, we may have to switch to chemo, although that will affect his daily lifestyle. Please keep Tony in your prayers.

We ask you to give thanks for the skills of Tony’s doctors, and that the tumour in Tony’s lung lining shrinks and even disappears.   Thanks for coming alongside in encouragement and prayer.  

Laurie-Ann had an oncology check up last week with her oncologist, and it was revealed that the ‘cyst’ that has been on L-A’s remaining breast is not entirely benign. It is a block of hyperplasia. This means a growing area that has a 10% chance of becoming cancer. So we must keep vigilant. Meanwhile, it is sore. L-A’s oncologist also wants L-A to go on zoledronic acid infusions, which can stop any breast cancer recurrence from spreading to the bones. The only thing is, it really wrecks the jaw for dental treatment! L-A’s new dentist says that she really needs crowns for four teeth, which are basically held together by earlier dental work! The cost of the crowns and two more fillings is $5,600 Canadian dollars! We don’t have this money. At this point, we can only do one or two teeth at a time and put it on a credit card. Ouch. L-A’s not sure whether she should go for the zoledronic acid infusions now. Another option would be to extract every tooth and wear complete dentures. But after witnessing the daily trouble that L-A’s dad has with his dentures, no thank you! So dental work with the infusions, or no infusions are the two choices. We need prayer and favour for provision.

L-A was NOT approved for progesterone (or any other hormones) in treating the hot flashes. Dr. Eisen just doesn’t want to take that chance, even though L-A’s former tumour was estrogen and progesterone negative (meaning not receptive to these hormones).

L-A’s Lymphedema check ups continue (we have one in three days). We can’t afford a lymphedema therapist, and our family doctor doesn’t believe that L-A has lymphedema in her legs (but a lymphedema nurse, L-A’s lymphedema therapist in South Africa and her fitter in Toronto, all agree L-A has lymphedema in her legs as well as her left arm, and left side of her chest. Tony gives L-A simple lymphedema massage, but it’s not like it was in Paarl. Oh well, we will manage. So a Lymphedema therapist who is also a physiotherapist is on L-A’s wish list to get her stronger. (Good opportunity to pray for L-A’s “health and strength” to complete her heavenly tasks!)

If you feel led to contribute towards medications and hospital parking expenses, L-A’s dental costs and perhaps lymphedema treatments, this would be most welcome.  Not everything is covered under Tony’s senior drug plan and OHIP, but don’t feel obligated.  But meanwhile, all my teachings are online for free to bless you.  Here is our Paypal for any of you who feel led to contribute: https://www.paypal.me/WaystogrowinGod

Laurie-Ann’s Colouring Books:   If you are in South Africa, and would like to purchase one of L-A’s colouring books, some are available at LeRoux and Fourie wine shop on R60 beside Cape Lime.  This is west of Robertson in Western Cape.  Or you can have your own copies printed for you through Print on Demand through Takealot.com. 

Link for Colouring with Jesus 1:  https://www.takealot.com/colouring-with-jesus/PLID68586424

Link for Colouring with Jesus 2: https://www.takealot.com/colouring-with-jesus-2/PLID72991486

We plan to republish the updated books in North American format (and in English only) in the future (after taking care of family).  

L-A is beginning to imagine writing other books, so watch this blog for more info when it comes.

Colouring sheets are available to children’s ministries for free; please just let us know. 

May you continue your own growing in faith. Bless you.

Love, Laurie-Ann

Ways to Grow in God: Worship is not just one part of life

by Laurie-Ann Copple


Last time we discovered that our faith grows when we learn how to worship God in Spirit and in Truth (John 4: 23 – 24). This means you can worship him through your spirit no matter what you are doing (a real secret of contentment). You have turned your heart and spirit into a temple of worship. To worship God in truth means that we are truthful about whom we are. Once you realize in your heart who God is to you, (as your Father), you can choose to worship Him without unneeded issues getting in the way.

In the ancient biblical Hebrew world view, all of life is interconnected. Our modern western world view sorts everything into compartments. The Bible world-view is more organic and natural. Worship doesn’t have to be divided into religious services, although celebrations, solemn assemblies and times with other believers is a very good thing. Yet it should not be the only time we worship. We can worship God in the midst of beauty – and enjoy creation. After all it is in a sense, one of the ways that he is known (Romans 1:20). The Psalmist notes that the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1-6), and songs such as Brian Doeksen’s “Creation Calls” remind us that creation reflects his glory. With this in mind, it can be easy to worship God outside of a service in what many people call ‘the green cathedral.’

However, you can also worship God in the midst of work. The worlds of work and worship don’t have to be separate. This work can be ordinary, everyday tasks like doing dishes. I spent at least one mission trip where I was called to wash dishes (as well as lead worship, prayer and work with teens on a British army base). I washed dishes in Northern Ireland for three weeks. Washing dishes isn’t my favourite task, but I had a dream that I was officially asked to wash dishes and lead worship in a ministry base. Word spread in this small community about my dream, and people realized that God had sent me and that he loved them! And so did I! I worshipped the Lord and sang my heart out in that kitchen – or at least hummed and worshipped in my heart. I was worshipping God in the midst of an ordinary task, like 17th century Brother Lawrence teaches in Practising the Presence of God. I was physically in Northern Ireland, but my heart/spirit is in heaven with Jesus – in two places. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “we are ‘seated’ in heavenly places (Eph 2:6).”

Can worship be involved in other ministry? Yes! Worship of the Lord should be at the heart of ministry towards others. After all, we are the hands and feet of Jesus – we are the Body of Christ. He ministers through us. So we must be rooted and grounded in God, and filled with his love and compassion. We can’t minister in our own power – it must be his love, not just ours. We simply are too frail on our own. Recently, I was watching Heidi Baker minister in a church service online. It was the Sunday following the Women on the Frontlines conference in Phoenix, Arizona (March 2014). Heidi shared of the importance of spending time in worship with the Lord. That precious time is like the oil of the wise virgins (Matt 25: 1-11). Remember what the Lord tells the foolish virgins (who didn’t have their oil)? “Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ This means they did not spend TIME with him.

When we spend that time with him, we are able to minister in the Holy Spirit’s power, but also with the love and compassion of Christ himself. This has happened with me on the mission field as well – I have spent time in soaking prayer before the Lord. He has been gracious to fill me each time with love and peace for myself and much more for others. But it was most important just to spend time with God for who he is. We need to be like Jesus with skin on for those who are needy. Sometimes we have seen Jesus in others, and sometimes he is evident in us.

When I attended another women’s conference in Phoenix (January 2010), that same Heidi Baker approached me in the midst of the worship time. She was filled with love, and it was like I was looking at Jesus through her beautiful, loving face. She hugged and kissed me, and handed me a beautiful bouquet of red roses. We didn’t speak, but I sensed that God was touching me very deeply through Heidi’s gesture. I was told by her helpers that those were her roses, but she was led right to me to give them to me. I’m still unpacking what that meant. But in a sense, it was like she was passing on a mantle to me – since I really felt akin to her in missionary ways. That call is becoming clearer with time. Fast forward four years to the Sunday service where Heidi shared about the oil being the time with God. This is a lady who spends four to six hours daily in deep worship. She said that she receives best when she worships lavishly with the Lord and feels badly when she needs more time with him. But the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart that when she is holding a dying child or ministering to a lonely widow, she is also worshipping him. This is another aspect of Matthew 25 (Unto the least of these!). So worship and ministry are definitely interconnected.

Could one worship and work in a secular workplace? You bet! The Apostle Paul encourages us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17), and if we follow Brother Lawrence in practising the presence of God, we are doing this. We can hum worship songs while we work, and at times, we can even pray in tongues under our breath. But how about using our secular work as an opportunity for pastoral care and mercy?   There are times when acts of kindness speak deeply of God’s compassion. Customer service as a retail worker can become pastoral care. Personal financial planning done by a compassionate, conscientious Christian can be an opportunity for pastoral care and evangelism. Reformer Martin Luther believed that secular work could be a lay person’s calling, as important as that of a member of the clergy.

A layperson’s job is not something separate from faith, any more than hands are separate from mind and heart. Devoted work is the very flesh and bone of living faith, without which worship cannot live and grow. Whateveryou do, wherever you minister, you are called to serve Christ where you are. The Apostle Paul reminds us that ‘Whatever you do, whether in speech or in action, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus’ (Col. 3:17). Quite often, these folk minister through divine opportunities, and of course can also be a good witness by their presence. Remember what Paul told the Christian slaves: Obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,  since you know that you will receive an inheritancefrom the Lord as a reward. (Col 3:22-24) While we aren’t slaves, we are bound to our employers to give our very best. And when we go beyond that, it points to the Lord.

Some of you may be called to be a ‘tentmaker.’ A tentmaker is a layperson who works as a volunteer for the church – either in missions or work inside the church, but they are supported by a job outside the church.This is what Paul did when he travelled on his missionary trips. Though he was a trained leader, he made tents to pay his way wherever he went. This is a special calling. This work that is done for the Lord is a gift to Him, which he honours. Though God will work through all of us, these lay people are available to do ministry in ways that full-time professional people cannot. The professional people have to minister within their jobs. Clergy are in ministry too, but they are committed to a certain kind of ministry, which includes encouraging you in your own ministry. They can’t go out like you can… and we lay people have an advantage: since we are volunteer, the people receive our ministry as a gift. It is a beautiful, sweet smelling gift that Jesus accepts, and the people receive.

It is how we minister and how we choose to use our gifts that matters. We have the same Holy Spirit, but how we touch others is unique to you and the Lord. The Apostle “Paul chose how he ministered the gospel.” [R Paul Stevens Liberating the Laity: Equipping All the Saints for Ministry. Downer’s Grove, Il: IV Press, 1985. p 42] He sacrificed being paid for his ministry, he sacrificed his time to love people into the kingdom of God. He sacrificed some of his sleep and ministry time for his job so that he could give himself as a gift. “All genuine ministry comes out of sacrifice.” [Elton Trueblood. Your Other Vocation. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1952. p. 59]. So also true work and true ministry comes out of worship.

Next time I will share how we can grow in God through pilgrimage.

Yours in Christ,
Laurie-Ann Copple