You’re in for a treat, today with us we have guest Neil Brown the recent author of Kansas City’s Redemptive Gifts: Our Destiny Revealed Through History. In this podcast you will learn about Neil’s journey as an intercessor for Kansas City which lead him to writing this book. Also we will unpack some of Kansas City’s redemptive gifts.
My hope is that this conversation will open the listeners mind to new ways of understanding spiritual warfare over Kansas City. Just as with people, God has a purpose and a plan for cities. And also, as with people, Satan steps in to twist their purposes and plans away from God’s original intent. Kansas City truly has redemptive gifts and these gifts are there to stay. They are irrevocable.
Nathan Sack 00:13
Thanks for joining us for another Faith Horizons podcast. The purpose of a Faith Horizons podcast is to discover the kingdom of God in Kansas City, one conversation at a time. Wow, you’re in for a treat. Today we have with us guest Neal Brown, the recent author of Kansas City’s Redemptive Gifts: Our Destiny Revealed Through History. In this podcast, you will learn about Neil Brown’s journey as an intercessor for Kansas City, which led him to writing this book. We will also unpack some of Kansas City’s redemptive gifts. My hope is that this conversation will open the listeners mind to new ways of understanding spiritual warfare over Kansas City. Just as with people, God has a purpose and a plan for cities. And also, as with people, Satan steps in to twist their purposes and plans away from God’s original intent. Kansas City truly has redemptive gifts. And these gifts are there to stay. They are irrevocable. Here is my conversation with Neal Brown. Welcome Neal Brown, it’s great to have you on the Faith Horizons podcast.
Neil Brown 01:29
Well, I’m privileged and honored to be here, it’s a blessing to just talk to you about this book.
Nathan Sack 01:37
What led you to writing this book?
Neil Brown 01:39
It probably goes back to the mid 80s. I came to know the Lord in the early 70s, got married about three or four years in then ended up in the mid 80s, with a very difficult a troublesome divorce that I was not expecting, but the- it went that way. And I know now that the Lord permitted it for his purposes. But I was just crying out to the Lord. At first I was really praying, you know, day and night, that God would save the marriage. And then when I realized that was going to happen, I was just praying in general. And God used that experience, to give me what I call a ministry of intercession. He broadened my mind about the potential of prayer. And I’ve always been interested, since having traveled quite a bit in my childhood to various countries, I had an interest in other cultures I had interest in, in nations and cities. So I began to pray. I just would open up my World Almanac and pick out a, you know, Haiti, that was one of the personal prayer for Haiti, I started reading everything about prayer. But I but I had the revelation that is, my calling was to pray more than just for my family, for my car that broke down, or Aunt Bessie, that had to go in the hospital. My prayer could not be confined to the four walls of my church. So I had to start praying for cities and nations. I began to see that God is interested in nations and in cities, after all, He created those. And so I had the revelation that, well, I’m going to start praying for where God has planted me in, in the city that God and I want to know all about the city that that I’m in so I can pray for it more effectively. And it’s kind of like the, you know, the spies were sent out, to kind of do reconnaissance to see what giants who were there what, what weren’t there. What were the good thing, not only the bad aspects of their geography, but the good aspects. I got really involved in the in the late 80s and 90s. In in a national prayer movement, and some really powerful teachers on prayer, like Peter Wagner, Dutch Sheets and so forth, began to do a lot of praying not just for the nation in general, but specifically over certain territories, states or cities within the nation.
Nathan Sack 04:52
Neil, so what prayer movement was that?
Neil Brown 04:55
First of all, is called the US Spiritual Warfare Network. And then later became the US Spiritual Prayer Network. People like Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, and then Dutch Sheets were involved in that movement. And by that time, I was living in Lawrence, Kansas. And I began to do research. George Otis, calls with spiritual mapping. And then I went to KU for a year, began to do a lot of praying for KU. And I realized, and I became the kind of spiritual mapper. And what I would do is find history regarding certain cities or certain areas to- spiritual mapping is basically where you study a typical geographical area. You study its current status, but also you study its formative years, which are very important. And as I write in this book, Walt Whitman, probably not a Christian, but he made an interesting statement, he said, the child is the father of the man. So and psychologists do this a lot. And people in the Christian world that do soul healing, they there’s they’re able to go back into the formative years of a person to find out what’s rooted in them.
Nathan Sack 06:32
So like the beginning years, the childhood years of a person or the beginning years of a city or the beginning years of an area, like when things first started happening, and what were the things that originally created it or formed it.
Neil Brown 06:49
Yeah, exactly. And I was very inspired. And I mentioned this in the book, when I define what redemptive gifts are. That term was coined by John Dawson. And it really impressed me it made sense to me. And it seemed like a very effective way to pray for the healing and redemption of cities. He says, for example, I believe cities have the mark of God’s sovereign purpose on them, I’m quoting out of his book, Taking Cities for God, which he wrote back in ‘89. And then there was an update in 2001. Our cities contain what I call redemptive gift. A city is a human institution like all institution in develops a creature hood or personality. I believe this is John Dawson, expressing his viewpoint on cities. I believe that God has participated in, in the creation of our cities, in forming their personalities. And also, he says, stationing high ranking guardian angels over each one.
Nathan Sack 08:03
So you really believe that cities actually have a personality. They have a personhood, as John Dawson said, here, there is a creature hood, or a personality and you believe that they have a calling, there’s a mission there. God has a prophetic word for a city. All of these cities are supposed to fulfill certain things that God has called them to fill in advancing the kingdom of God.
Neil Brown 08:33
Exactly. That’s right. But even before I read this book, I noticed I studied the old prophets. I saw that when a word came through the prophet, they addressed a city or nation, just certain geographical places, by name. In a very personal way as if they were, they were either admonishing or warning or encouraging a person. So this, what I’ve seen in the scriptures, it’s like God is speaking to geographical areas.
Nathan Sack 09:13
Yeah, cause you can say, you know, Ephesus or you can say, this city of Tyre, oh, Tyre, you know, there’s so many in the Old Testament where the prophets are literally calling out the city, hey, get yourself right with the Lord. If you look at the front of this book, it’s got a whole map of the United States. And then right over Kansas City, it’s got a heart with all the veins heading off of it. It’s got a, you know, red vein and a blue vein. And so one of the things that you brought out immediately for Kansas City is that it is the heart of America. I felt like that was really there’s definitely a key thing you know, very important. It’s the heart of America and then the one right after that is it’s the crossroad the crossroads of America because it’s in the middle. So if we put those two together, you know, what do you like to say about those two?
Neil Brown 10:03
It’s not a novel concept. When we hear people, even non-Christians talk about Kansas City, it’s in the heartland, you know, it represents the heart of America. The heart of America, that’s a symbol, you know, that’s a way a metaphor of describing. What does all that mean, spiritually speaking? What is God saying about that? Is it just a nice term or phrase, Heart of America? But does it have any prophetic symbolism, and what I really believe it does. So I believe that, spiritually speaking, we’re a pumping station of new life, fresh breath, oxygenated life, to the extremities of the nation, even to the nation’s plural. I believe God, and I write in the book God, God wants us in the heart of America to have the heart of David. As you know, Jerusalem was David City, where he set up his kingdom, but also his heart was to move the Ark of the Covenant, so that God’s presence would remain in the heart of Israel. If you look at a map of Israel, where is Jerusalem, it’s in the heart of the nation. So we’re not the Jerusalem, but I think we’re a type of Jerusalem, Kansas City is as being a very key-
Nathan Sack 11:48
We’re centrally located just like in Jerusalem is in Israel.
Neil Brown 11:52
Kansas City is a type of Jerusalem, located in the heart of America. And it is key to the well-being of the whole nation, as Jerusalem is to Israel. And I quote out of Zechariah 14 and 8, and that day living waters shall flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea, and the other half toward the western sea, both in summer and winter, it will, will occur. So you pair up that with out of the heart flow the issues of life. I used to work for city hall, and we go up- this is in the in the mid 80s and early 90s. I worked for city hall and number of intercessors, we’d go up to the observation deck and pray for the city. And the Lord said that- He gave me the scripture, Proverbs 4 and 23 out of the heart guard your heart with all diligence, for out of the heart flow the issues of life. So the Lord, I believe the Lord told me that this proverbs that out of the heart of America, Kansas City, as God restores it to its original purpose for this city, issues of life will be a fountain, will be a fountain of life to the rest of the nation. One of the unique aspects of Kansas City is it’s known for is fountains.
Nathan Sack 13:43
Yeah, it- Kansas City is the City of Fountains.
Neil Brown 13:46
And what does that mean? Spiritually, metaphorically, I believe there’s, there’s going to be living water that’s gonna spring out of us. It’ll be like a fountain. That’ll bring life and cleansing to the nation.
Nathan Sack 14:03
One of the things you brought up as one of the redemptive gifts of Kansas City is, is that we are an equipping city. And you can definitely see that in the formative years through the founding of Westport, because in Westport, and Independence during the Oregon Trail, the Santa Fe Trail-
Neil Brown 14:24
Nathan Sack 14:28
Kansas City was equipping the travelers, the pioneers who were going west, to be able to make their journey to have wheels, to have food, to have the wagons they needed, the oxen they needed to go west.
Neil Brown 14:43
Yeah, they were pursuing their what they consider with the promised lands. Just you know, just like the people going into the crossing the Jordan and going into the promised lands. The Jordan, the Jordan would be if you look at, in a physical sense, It’s where the Missouri River meets the overland trails. And that’s Kansas City. So it’s a, it’s a crossing over place to promised lands.
Nathan Sack 15:25
There’s another redemptive gift here, which we’re not going to go too much into. But it’s a crossroads of ancient paths. And I’ll just read out the book here it says the genesis of Kansas City is a story of a remarkable convergence of travelled past consistent consisting of waterways, and overland routes. And so that’s what you’re making the point that Kansas City is literally a convergence of all these put together. And so then, so therefore, we became an equipping center for multiple overland waterways, shipping, transportation.
Neil Brown 16:04
Yeah, well, another thing is…It was kind of a…it was a type of oasis. It was also a rest stop for weary travelers. Look at Westport today. Well, you know, God. And in all of this, God creates. Every time He creates things in Colossians, it says All things were created. All things were created by Him, I believe He creates cities and plants cities. But you know, the devil comes in and perverts these redemptive gifts. And so Westport was originally a place to get equip, but also rest. If he had traveled all the way from Europe, you know, you would rest up before the long journey, you know. I would say it was a difficult journey back then going westward. So you’d rest up and get equipped. Well, now, it seems Westport. People want to rest from and get take refuge from their travels. So the enemy has used the Westport now as kind of a place to just shake off the troubles of the week. You, you get some booze in you, and maybe a little more booze, and you live it up.
That you can see how the enemy originally it should be a- it should be a place where- a safe place where people can rest up and be refreshed. But the only way to truly be refreshed is when you come to the Lord. Come to me all ye who are heavy laden and I’ll give you rest.
Nathan Sack 18:08
Specifically with Westport and you know talking about you know, the oasis of Kansas City, one of its redemptive gifts, it’s an oasis, and Westport is an equipping center. But one of the things as the oasis which is a rest resting place is that the enemy’s going to obviously try to take that unique gift that is specific to Kansas City in general and twist it. Specifically Westport because you know like you said they’re able to rest up from their week. Instead of getting the Lord though they’re getting you know, what the enemy offers as his substitute for rest.
Neil Brown 18:48
Yeah, now the devil can’t create anything but he’s sure through sin and through deception and they’re taking advantage of our flesh nature. He can certainly pervert God’s original purposes.
Nathan Sack 19:02
Yeah, cause I was gonna say you know there’s a lot more that goes into Westport.
Neil Brown 19:06
Because of the bar scene it does attract especially say between two o’clock and after three, the bars are open till like 2:30 I think that’s the last call. It attracts a lot of gangs and evil leaders that are out to… They don’t realize they’re being used by the by the enemy and unfortunately, you get he gets a lot of drunkenness. You get two people fighting over a woman or one gang trying to take revenge against another and you’re gonna get violence and so we’re… I live in Westport myself. It’s a difficult territory when I understand God’s original purposes for that area, in the heart of the heart of America it gives me hope and encouragement.
Nathan Sack 20:08
So that these gifts, you know, even though they’ve been twisted by the enemy, they’re still there. And then, you know, like, speak specifically about alcohol. I mean, it says, you know, doesn’t usually say like, wine and spirits or something like that. So we’re trading one spirit for another like you’re saying. There’s a spirit there that you’re taking in when you’re drinking those alcohols?
Neil Brown 20:38
Well, it’s interesting. There’s a lot of, you know, in our culture, and in western civilization, even after Christianity, before Christianity, there’s been a lot of influence of pagan gods and goddesses, going back to the Greeks and the Romans and even before. Now I think it’s the, I don’t know if it’s the Greek or the Roman god, Bacchus, that’s the God of War wine in orgies of drinking wine, getting drunk with wine and orgies. Well, it’s interesting. A few blocks south of Westport is the plaza. I don’t know if you ever noticed there’s a statute dedicated, big statue takes up a whole fourth of an intersection of the god Bacchus. So, it’s like an idol. it looks nice. It looks glamorous, it looks this kind of interesting item of neoclassical architecture, you know, makes us sophisticated. But that’s actually an idol. It reflects how the enemies introduced his pagan culture into Christianity in general.
Nathan Sack 22:13
Exactly. And back to your point, this God of Bacchus, Kansas City is supposed to be an oasis of refuge. But this is the god of wine and orgies, you know, when you rest yourself. I mean, you can think about, you know, resting with the Lord, or you could think about it as resting from the Lord, like not facing your…
Neil Brown 22:33
Yeah, it’s taking a rest from… it’s like taking a vacation from morality, you know.
Nathan Sack 22:41
Yeah, it’s a vacation from morality versus a vacation or resting period with the Lord. And so that, again, is the enemy trying to twist a redemptive gifts, and it’s just represented differently throughout different parts of our city, the enemy trying to twist a an existing redemptive gift that Kansas City has.
Neil Brown 23:04
One, one final example. I write one of the redemptive gifts of Kansas City is it is a stored city. In doing this kind of spiritual mapping or investigation of redemptive gifts. And basically what you’re doing is you’re trying to find God’s original intention for your city.
Nathan Sack 23:27
Neil Brown 23:29
Acts 17 says, An interesting thing about cities, or habitations of people, Acts 17. And I quoted here in Acts 17, Paul says something remarkable, he says, God has for every man since Adam, God has pre ordained where they’re going to live, and at what time he is going to live, that they would seek the Lord. So it’s important to understand God plans where people are going to live, their habitations, their dwelling places, their cities, their nations, because His specific purpose for them to seek the Lord in that context. So I began to just use my imagination and resource skills of investigation. I know something about Kansas City. In the Bible, the kings would have King David, Solomon so forth, even the kings of Egypt, they would set aside certain cities as storage centers or storehouse cities. And those were particular locations or cities where they would amass food, treasures and military equipment and personnel. I saw something about Kansas City. That in the past, it’s been a big storage place for grain. Because we’re the breadbasket of the nation, originally, you know, not so much anymore. But that’s in our in earlier years not so long ago. That’s where wheat was stored. A lot of wheat and other grain products were milled here. And, and the flour and the grain was stored in these silos. Even certain parts of the city you can see the old storage silos or grain silos. Millions of bushels are stored in these places. So yeah, it’s and then back in our cow town days, the three main producers of meat, Wilson, Armour, and Swift- Armour, Swift and Wilson the main meatpacking companies would-they had slaughterhouses here, back in the cattle drive days after the Civil War. The cattlemen would drive their cattle to Kansas City. They would be slaughtered here, with these meatpacking companies, they would package the meat, but send it out. So meat had to be stored a lot of meat for these main meat packing companies had to be stored either in cold storage, or in canned products. So there was a lot of warehousing of meat here as well as grain. So I’m thinking Kansas City is definitely that’s a unique thing about our city is that it is a storage center. And then then I discovered something about the underground caves.
Nathan Sack 27:02
Yeah, those are really cool. We have quite a few of those around here.
Neil Brown 27:05
And it’s- I had no idea but you can see some as you’re going, say, from Southwest Boulevard, up 31st. You’re going east on 31st. But halfway before you reach between Southwest Boulevard and Southwest Trafficway, as you’re going say east to the I believe it’s to the right. There’s some storage centers. And basically, they’re underground caves that go back I don’t know how many years, from limestone mining. It’s amazing. All the caverns and stuff that is stored still stored to this day in those underground caves. So I’m thinking what this is there’s this is more than a coincidence. This is something unique about our city, Is that it’s a storehouse city. And so I think that that could apply spiritually, that this could be a supply center, just for people to be equipped, just like in the days of Westport to be sent. With supplies, with money with military. By military, I mean spiritual warriors. I have a equipping the military is one of the redemptive gifts.
Nathan Sack 28:37
I was gonna say, that’s actually one of the cooler gifts I’d like to get into that just a second here. Oh, but you know, but to your point about storage, you also brought up the, you know, the story of Joseph here, who’s in charge of administering Egyptians storage cities and this is storage and distribution center. So Kansas City has a storage and a distribution center for the country. And you’re saying it’s not just natural things, it’s also spiritual things.
Neil Brown 29:05
And there are things that God- you know what? I think it’s in Romans 11. It says the, the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. In other words, God doesn’t change His mind.
Nathan Sack 29:24
Yeah, there also another way to say it is the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.
Neil Brown 29:29
Are irrevocable or they’re here to last. And so even if they’ve been misused or perverted by the enemy, as God as we seek the Lord to redeem these areas of the cities, these attributes of the city, we can be a supply center to advance God’s kingdom all over the world.
Nathan Sack 29:53
Yeah. You know, that brings up a good point. You know, it’s talks about you know, there’s a lot well shoot, there’s this term that’s coined around is called the wells of revival, these wells of revival. Well, these are some of the wells that Kansas City has. And they’re the ones they’re the wells that are of revival, but they’re also the wells that are going to be revived the redemptive gifts that are going to be revived and then they’re going to begin to produce fruit again in Kansas City, these gifts.
Neil Brown 30:22
You know, my suggestion is pray. You know, I’m not trying to force a Neil’s observations down anyone’s throat, but I’m trying to challenge people to confirm what I say through the scriptures and through prayer. But also do your own research. I was able last December to publish this on Amazon and in the back. I when I described the book, that it’s more than just Kansas City. Hopefully, it’s a model or template of how to research and find the redemptive gifts of your own city, whether it be Geneva, or whether it be Amsterdam. Interesting, I mentioned Amsterdam, one of its in redemptive gifts, Amsterdam. One of its gifts, is tolerance in hospitality. It was Amsterdam that gave refuge to a lot of Jews in the World War Two. That’s where Anna, Anna Frank was, she was in Amsterdam. And that’s a gift of hospitality and tolerance. But the enemies perverted that to give a kind of a laissez faire attitude toward drugs and positive prostitution. So I just want to give Amsterdam as, as a as an example of a redemptive gift that’s really been perverted. Hopefully, people are praying that that gift of hospitality. It’s like a city of refuge. I believe Amsterdam is. A lot of Jews were sheltered there during World War Two. And maybe before.
Nathan Sack 32:05
Thank you, Neil Brown for joining us today on Faith Horizons. So you’re currently on staff at Bethlehem Kingdom Center, which is also known as the Kansas City Prayer Dome is located on 27th and Forest and you’re on staff.
Neil Brown 32:24
Apostle Ray Mabion he’s a pastor, prophet, apostle. He’s a businessman. Yeah, businessman. He wears a lot of hats.
Nathan Sack 32:35
It’s been great to have you.
Neil Brown 32:36
It’s been my pleasure and honor and I’m so excited. I’ve been praying, oh, Lord, what do you what are you saying about this book? So hopefully, the listeners can hear something about this book. And again, praise God. Thank you for having me.
Nathan Sack 32:56
Yeah, you’re welcome. And we’ll make sure we include a link to the Amazon link in the show notes if you want to purchase the book. And I would advise anyone that cares about Kansas City or has a heart for Kansas City intercession that you buy this book because it, it opens the door to an understanding a deeper understanding of what God’s original intent for Kansas City was, and ask the question, how do we get back to what God originally intended? Thank you so much for joining us for another Faith Horizons podcast. We look forward to sharing more conversations from the kingdom of God in Kansas City. If you’d like to partner with the Faith Horizons mission to discover the kingdom of God in Kansas City, one conversation at a time. Please go to www.patreon.com forward slash faith horizons. Thank you so much.