Michael and Denie Riggs and their Perfect Praise Team invite you to join them as they continue sharing The Journey as they prepare to launch a New Center.
Picking up The Journey… (If you missed earlier blogs, they are posted here on this blog site.)
The Continuing Journey … (Part 4)
Blog by Denie Riggs
From the early days and for several years after God gave His name for the music and autism center, surprisingly, the Zoe Life Center did not move forward.
The reason being, for several years, Michael and I could not seem to get on the same page regarding it.
Early in our business partnership, which has spanned two and a half decades, we determined that we would only move forward with major decisions when we were in total unity. For the most part, that policy has not caused major issues … however it was a huge blockade with the Zoe Life Center.
I was getting antsy because “Tick tock goes the clock!” Due to this delay, I felt that we had missed nearly a decade of implementing the components of the Zoe Life Center to individuals with special needs. During that time, I had worked with piano, worship recorder and bucket drumming with special needs students that God sent us over the years, with incredible success. But we didn’t go out seeking families dealing with autism, nor did we apply the full structures that I had envisioned for the Zoe Life Center.
But God is faithful. In HIS timing, God began a process in Michael to bring about unity of heart regarding the Zoe Life Center.
Here is a blog by him, as he explains the next step of The Journey from his perspective. Our visions were beginning to merge.
Before you read his blog, you may remember from Blog 2 of this series, I shared how the transliteration number for Zoe was 2222. During the last several years, while waiting for the Zoe Life Center to move forward, everywhere we looked, we saw 2222, 222, 22, 22.2.
Michael and I both marveled at that fact, as it was happening all the time, several times a day, to both of us. That fact plays a huge role in what Michael will be sharing in his blog and lays a foundation as we move forward.
Tabernacle of David
A Blog by Michael Riggs
I call myself a “representative of the Tabernacle of David”. God led me to this about 2014 or 2015. The Tabernacle of David (TOD) is what my life has revolved around since at least 2002. Since that time, I was captivated by the term, and began to study it’s uses in the Bible, and study the tabernacle itself.
Today, many are intrigued by the study of the Tabernacles in the Bible, but they usually focus on the Tabernacle of Moses, or on the restored Tabernacle of Solomon. However, it is the Tabernacle of David that has God’s attention.
In 1997, when we first began our business model, we adopted a mission statement for our business, “Training Musicians for Ministry”. That statement reflects the Tabernacle of David.
We saw ourselves as being called to that, and God certainly put His stamp of approval and blessing on that. Having begun to understand the vital role of the TOD in God’s Kingdom plan for the ages, I began to define our business as one that was “preparing musicians and worshipers who will take their place and play their role as God restores the Tabernacle of David” in their generation.
We, Perfect Praise Music, teach musicians, starting from babies, to be worship musicians.
I was becoming more and more consumed with the Tabernacle of David, pursuing it, understanding it, and incorporating it into my life. This was my passion.
By 2014 I had begun to say that I was a representative of the Tabernacle of David. This is how I would spend the balance of my life.
I’m not sure how much of this passion my wife, Denie, understood or carried herself. She had other passions that drove her in our music teaching, worship training business which we worked together, and looked upon as our ministry.
In 2013 Denie wrote the book Music Helps Autism. This was propelled by several things: First, by all the success we had seen over the years with our non-traditional, piano-based music program helping students with special needs, especially young children.
Second, in 2012, she had watched a month-long series of newscasts about autism and autism therapies. She was shocked to see the conclusion of the series, with no mention made of music. She realized that perhaps God had given her the tools to broadcast what we were witnessing daily.
To affirm the information her Music Helps Autism book contained; Denie held an eight-week case study with 20 students with autism. The results were nothing short of amazing.
After the Music and Autism Case Study Denie became more passionate than ever about helping children and other students with autism, using our music program.
She began to conceive of a center that would focus on music and the brain. She struggled to know what to call this center. In frustration one night, after she and I had talked about what to call this center, she asked the Lord what He would call it. His response to her was that He’d call it the Zoe Life Center. She excitedly shared that with me, and it meant nothing to me.
I was caught up in my pursuit as a representative of the Tabernacle of David, and had no time, no mental energy, and no room in my life for anything else that I could not understand or be passionate about.
Denie and I had always had the business practice of not starting anything new in our business or making big decisions unless we were both in full agreement. Since we were not on the same page, the Zoe Life Center was at a standstill.
We continued our pursuit of helping prepare people to play their role as God restored the Tabernacle of David.
Denie continued to plan for the Zoe Life Center. We both continued to teach music and create curriculum, and work with other teachers who wanted to use our programs… and on occasion would discuss the Zoe Life concept.
It is very interesting to me how significant the number 222 and 2222 is to God, and to the Tabernacle of David. It is amazing to me how significant to God the Tabernacle of David is.
Starting around 2013 the number 222 started appearing to me repeatedly. I would glance at the clock almost daily and it would be 2:22. Many times I would be awakened at 2:22 a.m.
Whenever I saw that number, I knew God was reminding me of the TOD and my role in it. This is because of Isaiah 22:22, which says that God would give the key of David. As I have learned, it is also related to other very powerful Bible verses that I have come to know are a part of this.
May 22nd of 2016 was Denie and my 22nd anniversary. With that in mind, I felt the Lord wanted me to study all the passages in the Bible that were chapter 2 verse 22, or chapter 22 verse 2.
This proved to be a very interesting study. It also took nearly a year, and I finished this sometime in 2016. I knew… Denie and I both believed… that our 22nd anniversary would be very significant for us.
We had been building a new home, which had some delays. We closed on that new home on January 22nd of 2016, stepping into a new phase of our lives.
I traveled to Cuba in early 2016, to teach for a week on the Tabernacle of David. I left for that trip on February 22, 2016.
As I returned from Cuba, Denie and I traveled to Florida for the memorial service for her sister. While returning from that trip we stopped in Troy, Alabama to gas our vehicle. I was standing at the gas pumps on such a beautiful spring-like day, with a gentle breeze blowing, under blue skies with a mix of a few white clouds. A feeling of such accomplishment and peace came over me as I stood pumping gas… I had an overwhelming realization that I just wanted to give the rest of my life serving God and doing whatever He wanted me to do. Standing at the gas pump, I lifted my hands in worship and surrender to Him, only to look up and see a cloud that was the exact image of Cuba. It even had a separate smaller cloud under Cuba that looked like the little island to the southwest of Cuba (Isla de la Juventud), under Pinar del Rio where we had stayed and ministered.
I was amazed. I broke into tears and rejoicing at the sign God had just given me. I also began to wonder, was God telling me to give my life to work in Cuba, or to give my life for what I did while I was in Cuba-teaching on the Tabernacle of David. Though I was immediately hearing in my spirit what He was saying to me, I would soon get my confirmation of that when, a few days later as I was posting expenses to our bookkeeping system, I saw that while at the gas pumps where I had filled the van while watching the “Cuba Cloud” I had pumped exactly $22.22 worth of gas. No… I did not stage that or do that on purpose. I did not even know the amount I had charged until I posted it in QuickBooks a few days later… as I normally do not look at the amount I charge in gas.
I continued to pursue my role as a “representative of the Tabernacle of David” as I felt led and directed, continuing to learn as I went.
In my 2015/16 journaling of 2:22 and 22:2 verses in the Bible, I became captivated by Revelation 22:2. I knew that we were supposed to be an embodiment here of heaven on earth. I believe that is what that verse teaches… not just a futuristic representation of heaven, but something we can have now, before eternity, much like David was allowed to go beyond the vail in his time before the vail was rent.
This was in addition to my being captivated by Isaiah 22:22 which promises the key of David. I began to see that these verses were one and the same, and that the key of David-the Tabernacle of David – was key to establishing a Revelation 22:2 place here on earth.
I saw that what David had developed in Jerusalem that so captured the heart of God and moved Him to promise to restore David’s tent over the Ark of His presence (Amos 9:11; Acts 15:16), was an environment that created a Revelation 22:2 scenario, and that we could have the same thing as we allowed God-partnered with God to restore the TOD in our generation and in our region.
In 2019, I felt that we should have a recommissioning of our business, which would make a statement here on earth and in the heavenly places that Michael and Denie Riggs and Perfect Praise, Inc. was now a representation of Revelation 22:2, and that we would seek to be infused with that understanding in our DNA and become a reflection of that environment.
Before this recommission meeting, as we were preparing for our Perfect Praise Projects nonprofit board meeting in the middle of 2019, my eyes fell upon a card that was given to Denie with a Zoe Life Center donation from one of our students. Denie had pinned it to the bulletin board in our office.
The card mentioned Revelation 22:2 at the bottom. I had looked at that card and read it multiple times but had never noticed that verse being written on it.
It was during that time that Denie said to me… reminded me… of something that had not registered with me as of yet. The Strong’s Concordance transliteration number for Zoe is 2222. It was in that moment that a light came on inside me. It was in that moment that I realized that my passion for the restoration of the Tabernacle of David and Denie’s passion for a Zoe Life Center were one and the same.
We were not pursuing two different visions, but the same vision from two different directions. All this time God was leading me from one direction and Denie from another, only for us to meet as our paths collided at a God ordained fork in the road.
We are now, together pursuing what we call (at least for now) the 222 Ranch. We walk with excitement to watch God unfold this for our future. We feel compelled to release this description in the month of February 2022… the month of 2/22 and 2/2/22 and 2/22/22.
Concluding The Journey (Part 4)
As Michael and I recognized our merged visions, we began to realize that the Zoe Life Center and the other visions we carry, need a home.
We have rented various spaces in Huntsville AL over the last 25 years but don’t want to rent any longer. We need a place where our dollars go towards a permanent location; a home for our special needs training, conferences, worship mentoring etc.
Our merged vision includes what we refer to as the 222 Ranch.