Our Team - Bill Harper

Flight suits and silver wings… sounds like glory, doesn’t it? I once thought it was. It took 40 years, with lots of missteps and misplaced worship, to discover how empty that lie was. It absorbed my heart, fed a self centered core, and let me hide my wounds… inside a shiny fast jet. It was just a place to hide and run fast. Now I am on a journey back to the real glory, the glory of God that is man fully alive. That is what we are about. We invite you to join us on an adventure to recover the heart God intended for you: a heart alive, full, and free. 

“When the student is ready the messenger will appear” Perhaps a famous cliché, but truth in my case. The messenger was John Eldredge. The timing was perfect (like, that would be God). The message was restoration. Isaiah 61 Restoration. Jesus spoke of this in Luke 4: ‘ He came to heal the brokenhearted, give sight to the blind, and set the captives free.’ Nearly blind, full of fear, and carrying a crushing burden, I heard this message that went straight to my heart. 
 
There it began: a challenging, sometimes frightening, and often difficult adventure. The journey of my life, not via my own navigation but with His. Years down the road, it is now a fulfilling, exciting, mysterious and still, sometimes, difficult adventure. Transformation, restoration, freedom, vision, healing – I testify to these. Now I live in a story far more exciting than flying fighters, far more glorious than silver wings. Oh yes I still fly, now in ways I have never flown before. You see, the wings I wear on my clothing define me no more.  
 
When I returned from the Ransomed Heart – Wild at Heart Boot Camp in October 2006, the passion to live from a restored and renewed heart burned within me. Jesus was the kindling. My real and wonderful savior has walked me through wounds that I may release and forgive and walked with me into my fears to expose their false lies and agreements. Jesus often makes me laugh deep from my belly which makes all my discomfort fade as a dark night fades into glory and sunshine. Healing from His touch, presence and counsel still continues. You see, it is all about relationship, where all the doctrine, theology and religion was unable to give life… I have found life in a true relationship with Christ. He did what He said He would do in Luke 4. He is still doing it, oh yes, He is far from finished with me. And it is no mystery that all my other relationships have become healthy and vibrant, especially the most difficult relationship mystery of all: my relationship with myself.  

I found other men who carry the same burn. Now we are walking together on this journey (Jesus included.) We are a band of brothers that call ourselves Return To Glory (and Wildmen, and others) and we carry this message for every man that thirsts for more, for Isaiah 61 restoration, to live from a heart that is truly alive. 

We invite you to join us for a transforming experience into your heart, toward the heart of Jesus. You may never be the same again.  
 
Above all else, guard your heart, for from it flows the wellspring of life. Prov 4:23

Keeper of the Light

Imagine a lighthouse, an old one, battered by the salt and storms of life at the edge of the safety of land. The gears are creaky, the rails are rusty and the doors leak in a heavy rain. The lens of the lamp needs cleaning – it always does – given the nature of the combatively corrosive environment in which it stands.  

The lighthouse is a bit battered, and needs constant maintenance and care. But it stands solid in structure and foundation. And it shines. 

Passers by have been known to chidingly remark how the worn picket fence and grounds surrounding the house are in need of remodeling. Others who have visited the living quarters have been known to find it uninviting, with some jagged edges on the furniture and occasional untidiness. Yet there are others who visit the lighthouse and notice the lamp is bright even in the daytime sun.  As they walk by looking up, the rusty rails and cracked window frames go unnoticed. 
 
And the light continues to shine, day and night. From a distance many wayward men on theirs journeys have found their way through dangerous waters to safety from this light. Those travelers afar know nothing but gratitude for the light. In fact, the light is all they know. 
 
I am not the light. The lighthouse is not really mine either. I am simply the keeper of the lighthouse. Sometimes weary, always human, but passionate about fighting the darkness as best I can. To keep the message going out: a reference of fixed truth in a bearingless sea where it is so easy to lose our way. You see, we are all born into a world at war, and I am just trying to live in the love story. To keep the light shining on the love story. You see, at the end of our journey here on earth, the love story is all that really matters 

Bill Harper


 

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